Twenty Major League teams will attend Tim Tebow’s baseball workout, suggesting there are some who believe he actually has a chance to make a positive impact on an organization. Like many other level-headed people, I am skeptical.
Tebow’s trainer and Gary Sheffield previously expressed belief the former Heisman Trophy winner is secretly a spectacular baseball player just waiting for an opportunity. Former closer David Aardsma also believes Tebow is legit after throwing against him in a simulated game.
How impressive is the man who last played competitive hardball during his junior year of high school? Take a gander at these quotes.
"“I was really impressed with his adjustments,” said Aardsma, who wrote about the initial experience on the website baseballessential.com. “You know he’s going to have power – he’s huge. He has a pretty good swing. I wanted to see the adjustments. If a pitch is down, how does he adjust? “If I threw a slider down, he went down to try to get it. It wasn’t like he was swinging at the same plane and getting fooled. He was aggressively attacking the ball where it was.”"
That’s right. Tebow understands that an effective hitter attempts to position the bat so it makes contact with the ball. He understands that aiming is important to the process. It takes most Major League prospects several seasons in the minors to make this discovery.
But that doesn’t means Tebow’s coming into the situation with a sense of entitlement.
"“After I threw to him, he took BP again and I shagged,” Aardsma said. “I got the bucket (to pick up balls) and Tim had run out to where I was and he said, ‘No, no, I got this.’ I was blown away. “He doesn’t appear to me like riding a bus and grinding it out is anything he’d mind. He wants to grind it out.”"
Now, Aardsma also makes some valid observations about Tebow’s ability. His bonafides speak for themselves and he probably has an informed eye when it comes to talent.
My question is, how do you take belief in Tebow seriously when he’s being treated as the second coming for doing something most Little Leaguers can do and picking up some baseballs off the ground?
That’s downright comical. The ball-shagging especially. How does a sane person extrapolate doing the bare minimum to help during batting practice as an indication Tebow is willing to slog it out through unglamorous rookie ball conditions.
If you’re taking him seriously as a baseball player, then you can’t set the bar this low. At a certain point the kid gloves have to come off, his celebrity status stripped away and merits judged.
At its core, though, the Tebow the baseball player storyline is not serious. Time will prove this, when he either briefly accepts or declines an opportunity to play low-level ball as a sideshow.