The New York Mets seem determined to make this Tim Tebow thing work. Despite a .222/.311/.340 slash line, the organization announced Tebow will be promoted to St. Lucie following Sunday’s game.
It’s a step forward for the 29-year-old, though not a huge one. Tebow began the season with the Columbia Fireflies. They are considered a Class A organization. The St. Lucie Mets are Class A Advanced. It’s an increase in competition, but Tebow still remains far from the majors.
That last part might be in question, however. While news of a summertime promotion has floated around for weeks, Tebow hasn’t done much to justify the move. You could argue his batting line is impressive for a player who hasn’t faced strong competition in over a decade, but it’s tough to say he’s been good enough to warrant a promotion.
The move seems to add more evidence to the idea that the Mets are using Tebow as a sideshow. His promotion to a new club means there will be more Tebow merchandise for fans to purchase. More merchandise means more money to the organization.
If you want to be an optimist, you could point out that Tebow is already 29, and the team could be looking to move him up the chain faster due to his age. In theory, he’s already in his prime, so his “peak” seasons are happening now and will be over soon. You could argue that the club wants to make sure it gets the best out of Tebow before he experienced age-related decline like everyone else.
Unfortunately, his age works as a double-edged sword. With the Fireflies, Tebow was seven years older than the average prospect according to a 2013 article at Baseball America. Despite the age difference, he struggled against younger competition.
With the St. Lucie Mets, that age difference shrinks slightly. In the Florida State League, Tebow will be about six years older than his competition. The gap closes and the level of play increases. That doesn’t bode well for Tebow.
Again, none of that really matters. With Tebow’s latest promotion, the Mets seem to confirm that his performance means nothing. He hasn’t earned it. Not with that batting line.
But he sells tickets and, by all accounts, seems to be great with fans. As long as people come to watch him play, Tebow will continue failing his way up through the organization.
Just how far will that take him? With the Mets falling out of contention, there’s at least a chance Tebow makes it to the majors by the end of the season. That might seem ridiculous considering his numbers and lack of experience, but those things haven’t factored into the team’s choices thus far.
Justifying his playing time in the majors might be difficult, but again, that’s not what it’s about. As long as Tebow keeps selling jerseys and putting fans in the seats, the Mets will be profitable and happy. Sunday’s promotion makes it clear that’s all they value here.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –