Before he was leaving his mark on the gridiron – first-round pick of the Denver Broncos, 2007 Heisman Trophy Award winner, two-time NCAA National Champion (2007, 2009) and holder of five NCAA, 14 SEC, and 28 University of Florida records – Tim Tebow was a multi-sport standout during his home-schooled high school years, including on the diamond. Despite drawing some draft interest from major league clubs as an underclassman while hitting a shade under .500, Tebow elected to hang up his spikes before his senior year of high school in order to focus his efforts on football.
This is not the first time Tebow has run into the eyes of a scout on the baseball field. Stephen Hargett, currently a Red Sox amateur scout, had this to say about Tebow, whom he scouted while he was working for the Angels, in a June 12, 2013 interview with Rob Bradford on Boston radio station WEEI. “He had a strong arm and had a lot of power. If he would have been there his senior year he definitely would have had a good chance to be drafted…He had leverage to his swing. He had some natural loft. He had some good power. He was a good athlete. He had had enough arm for that position (RF). He was a left-handed hitter with strength and some size.” (Full interview found here.)
Today, ten years after his last competitive baseball game, the former outfielder – and current unrestricted free agent – once again stepped in front of major league scouts. This time it was a private showcase, with his goal being to reignite his baseball career by earning a contract with one of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams. The showcase was held at USC’s Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles, and included:
- 60-yard dash in the outfield
- Throws from right filed
- Fielding from center field
- Live batting practice, thrown by former major league RHP’s Chad Smith and David Aardsma
So how’d it go? I was on hand, and filed this report (as originally seen on FS1’s MLB WhipAround).
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Tim Tebow, OF, Unrestricted Free Agent
Ht/Wt: 6’3” / 245 B/T: L/L Age (as of 8/30/16): 29 yrs, 0m
Physical Description: Physically mature, large frame; thick-body throughout with huge upper body, broad shoulders, barrel chest and muscled, thick lower-half.
Run: 50/50 – 6.76 (60-yd)
Moves well for his size; power runner, not overly explosive. Not a base-stealing threat, but could score from 1st base on a double.
Not used to reads off the bat; corner-outfield profile. Athleticism will play up, can see him getting to fringe average with more reps.
Restricted arm action, but shows some carry; below average overall. Slow release, and the footwork isn’t great.
Raw Power: 70/70
Showed power to big parts of field and big-time pull-side pop; can miss-hit ball and still get it out. Generates backspin carry; ball jumps – 440-to-450 foot bombs to right field and right-center; couple into the second deck of the parking garage overlooking right field.
In-Game Power: 45/55
Has above-average bat speed and sees ball well; present ability to drive gaps; ball jumps off the bat; shows juice the other way; can see power showing up as timing improves.
Hit Tool Notes:
- Swing is compact and short to the ball.
- Has a slight uphill plane that lets him really generate good backspin.
- Showed above-average bat speed and, most importantly, it looked like he saw the ball well for a guy that has never faced professional pitching before. Off-speed stuff will give him trouble, but he wasn’t overwhelmed in this look.
- He hit two into the 2nd/3rd deck of the parking garage in right-center field and hit several into the big pine trees over the scoreboard in right field (USC field).
- Showed that he can go the other way with authority. Hit one out to left field off of Chad Smith and one off the top of the wall on the line to left-center field off of David Aardsma.
- Ingredients are there for him to hit for some power if the timing comes around, but it will take some time.
Overall Prospect Notes
Note: It’s uncommon for a single showcase to generate a full scouting report because of the showcase format of this viewing. An informed report would be generated after viewing in-game performance over 3-4 games and 12-15 ABs to develop a better sense of overall future potential (OFP).
- Plus athlete and is incredibly strong and those two things will give him some margin for error.
- Knows how to compete, and he understands the need to be able to make adjustments
- Showed more than enough to get a shot with a major league organization.
- Should he sign, Instructional League would be probable next step for him.
- Could handle the lower minor league levels now, but development is going to take time (1-to-2 full professional seasons). This showcase and upper-level, live pitching are very different animals.
- Would make initial comparison to Evan Gattis (C, Astros) or Scott Schebler (RF, Reds) at the major league level.