MOOSIC, Pa. – Triple-A baseball hasn’t been as easy for Tim Tebow as other levels of the minors have been.
After batting .273 with six home runs and 36 RBI in 84 games with Double-A Binghamton last season, Tebow brought a batting average below the Mendoza line to Moosic this past weekend.
The outfielder was batting just .164 with five RBI in 17 games with Triple-A Syracuse heading into the series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. And it didn’t get any easier against the RailRiders’ pitching staff.
Tebow went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and failed to get the ball out of the infield in just one game of the shortened two-game set against the RailRiders. Friday’s game was suspended and turned into a doubleheader on Saturday. Sunday’s game was postponed due to rain.
“It’s continuing to adjust,” Tebow said. “I’ve made all the adjustments I’ll have to. I just think there are some things I’ve been working on in trying to improve. I think I’m in that process.”
“Getting into the season, getting into the grind, facing good pitchers and just adjusting.”
While Tebow struggles at the plate continue, there is one area of the game he’s improved.
Tebow has made just one error in the field this season, which is at a slightly higher rate than a year ago, but way day from when he made 10 in 2017. He also has one assist in 15 games in left field.
“I think I’m much improved on defense,” Tebow said. “I’m feeling a lot better. I’m feeling my reads and my jumps are better – seeing it off the bat. That’s really only something that can come with actually doing it. It’s really hard to simulate. You can try in (batting practice), but it’s really just something you have to see – see the swing and get good jumps.”
But as Tebow continues to perfect his craft, he continues to put everything in perspective.
Keeping things in perspective has been what has kept Tebow grounded during his time in the New York Mets organization. Through all the success and disappointment, he has remembered that, ultimately, he’s just playing a “kid’s game.”
“I think so much about life is about perspective,” Tebow said. “We can get caught up in the here and the now – the disappointments. You can hit a few balls hard, they don’t go through, you get disappointed. It’s all about perspective because you’re still out there, you’re playing a kid’s game and what a blessing it is to do it.
“I also think that you want to keep perspective about everything we have and the blessings in this world. That’s one reason why I’m so grateful I’ve been able to travel to so many countries and see what else so many people are going through. I think that helps me keep things in perspective of truly the blessings that we have.”
And while keeping things in perspective keeps Tebow grounded, so does his fans. But not in the general sense of hearing people cheer for him after he hits a home run.
No. Tebow wants to make a bigger impact than that.
It’s why Tebow was the last player off the field ahead of Friday’s first pitch – despite a nearly two-hour rain delay – signing autographs for dozens of fans that lined the rail next to the Mets dugout.
“I think more than anything, I appreciate the support, but I hope I can transcend whatever I’m doing, whether that’s playing football or playing baseball or giving a speech or a talk, where it’s something more than that,” Tebow said. “Because if all you do is hit it or strike out, or throw a touchdown or interception, there’s still something empty in that. But if you can try to be more than that and try to make someone smile or create a brighter day or be able to give someone hope in something where it’s more than just a game, than that really means something. I think that’s not necessarily being a fan or follower; I think it’s something deeper than that. Hopefully, it’s something people can feel.”
As Tebow continues to make his ascent to the majors this season, he’s surrounded by the right people.
The Mets’ lineup on Friday featured seven players with big-league experience, including two-time All-Star Carlos Gomez.
Playing with a handful of former big leaguers, looking to get back to the majors, provides Tebow with plenty of opportunities to pick people’s brains as he looks to get his first call.
“A lot of guys with a lot of experience in The Show,” Tebow said. “A lot of guys have played a lot of years, and there’s a lot of wisdom there. I think it’s fun being able to travel and play with those guys and talk, and talk baseball. I think there’s a lot of wisdom there and I try to take as much as I can.”