PORT ST. LUCIE — The big top is now open for business. Tim Tebow, in his attempt to reinvent himself as a baseball player, is scheduled to begin workouts in the Mets’ camp on Monday, an added attraction for fans attending daily workouts at First Data Field.
The former Heisman Trophy winner is scheduled to participate in the Mets’ STEP Camp for early arrivals. Tebow pulled into camp Sunday. “We are hopeful that [Tebow] will demonstrate enough progress in spring training that we will send him to a club,” general manager Sandy Alderson said.
Tebow, 29, participated in the Mets’ instructional camp last year and then played 19 games in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit . 194 with 20 strikeouts in 62 . Before joining the Mets organization on a deal last September, the former quarterback had last played competitive baseball as a junior at Nease High School at Ponte Verde, Fla.
Team officials are open to the idea of Tebow, a corner outfielder, potentially playing a handful of Grapefruit League games with the major league club, but that is contingent upon him first showing enough on the side. And, to many who saw him in the Arizona Fall League, that seems a long shot. “Ugly.
In the field and at the plate, nothing looks natural,” one scout told The Post in November, echoing a common sentiment. David Wright doesn’t anticipate Tebow becoming a distraction in camp. “I don’t think anybody is going to go out of their way [for Tebow] unless they are big college football fans or Florida fans,” Wright said.
“But if he comes over [to the major league clubhouse] we will do everything we can to welcome him with open arms and do anything we can to help him out or answering questions if he has any. ” Wright met Tebow last offseason, during a visit to the Arizona Fall League, and said the former football star — who still serves as an analyst for the SEC Network — made a positive impression on him. “The guy is a tremendous athlete,” Wright said.
“A nice guy and he’s really open to learning, and from the short period of time I got a chance to talk to him, he’s really focused and serious on becoming the best baseball player he can. That’s tough to do, especially when you haven’t played in so long. ”.