On Friday, the New York Mets announced that Tim Tebow was formally invited by the team for this year’s spring training that begins in mid-February in St. Lucie, Florida.
The winner of the Heisman Trophy and a former quarterback in the NFL spent this past baseball season in the minor league system of the Mets, where he batted .226 with 8 homers and 52 RBIs over 126 games.
Tebow began his season in the South Atlantic League in Columbia, South Carolina. He was then promoted to Class A St. Lucie to play in the Florida State League late last June.
Tebow, who is 30 and a college football analyst with ESPN, batted .317 in the first 25 games he played for St. Lucie. He also has a hitting streak of 12 straight games. He played both designated hitter and in the outfield.
Last year Tebow took part in New York’s spring training in St. Lucie. In the nine games he played, Tebow has 4 hits in 27 at bats for an average of .148 with one walk, eight strikeouts and no extra-base hits.
Tebow played college football with the Florida Gators and led the SEC school to two national championships on the gridiron, prior to moving on and playing quarterback for the Denver Broncos followed by the New York Jets.
He said last August that he considered his first baseball season as a professional a solid learning experience and he was interested in being back with the team for 2018.
Tebow said at that time that in looking back on his season he remembers several ups and downs, many learning moments as in almost every practice or game there was something he experienced for the first time that added to his learning experience.
St. Lucie was helped by the interest and drawing power of Tebow. The team enjoyed an explosive rise in attendance as it drew over 122,000 fans during the season to set a new attendance record for home games.
The Mets announced that pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 12, with their first workout on February 14. Position players are due on February 17 with their first workout scheduled for February 19.
The Mets are not expected to contend this season in the National League East, but with their talented lineup of pitchers, they could surprise many if their hitting problems are solved through trades or free agent signings.