Since blasting a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw this season for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, former NFL star Tim Tebow has struggled at the plate in Double-A
Just four games in, Tebow has eight strikeouts in his first 15 at-bats. Tebow’s only hit in 14 trips to the plate since his long ball was a single to first base on Monday against the Akron RubberDucks.
Hitting seventh and playing left field, Tebow’s .133 average is third-worst among regulars and strikeout total a team-high.
“Baseball’s a game where it’s never too high and never too low,” Tebow said after the season opener. “It’s just one at-bat and just one pitch, so you have to be focused. Tomorrow is another day where I have to improve.”
Tebow worked on a new swing this offseason, a shortened power stroke designed to come faster through the zone. But off-speed pitches remain Tebow’s primary weakness. Tebow’s homer came on a fastball in his wheelhouse.
“I felt pretty good,” Tebow said. “He walked the two batters before me, so on one hand you’re probably thinking he’s going to be a little bit wild and be patient. But a lot of times after a catcher makes a visit to the mound, the next pitch is probably a fastball somewhat down the middle to try and get going again. That’s what I kind of anticipated, that’s what it was and I felt pretty good.”
Tebow hit .226 with eight home runs in 126 minor league games last year, with a few of his homers coming off first pitches.
“He’s got a long season ahead, but he had a great spring and he worked really hard, so it’s great that he started the season (with a homer),” Binghamton coach Luis Rojas said after the opener. “Knowing the history and knowing that every first at-bat he’s gotten in his professional career he’s done the same thing is pretty impressive.”
Mets general manager Sandy Alverson believes Tebow has what it takes to reach the big leagues. Not buying that statement, but I do believe he puts asses in the seats. Tebow is a football player, not a baseball player.