The Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League offered Tebow a baseball contract on Wednesday.
“The Bluefish welcome Tim with open arms,” said Bluefish General Manager Jamie Toole. “The Atlantic League is all about giving players an opportunity, and we think Bridgeport would be a great place for him to begin his professional baseball career.”
What makes this situation difficult for both parties is the fact that the Atlantic League’s regular season ends in less than three weeks. That wouldn’t be enough time for Tebow to accomplish much.
The Bluefish are known for making big headlines. Earlier this season both Jennie Finch (former USA Softball Pitcher) and Roger Clemens(Potential Hall of Famer) were guest managers for the team.
Tebow already has a legitimate offer from a Venezuelan winter league team outstanding, and he received interest from handful of MLB teams after his workout Tuesday.
Feedback from Tebow’s workout wasn’t all positive, however.
“It was a complete waste of time,’’ said an American League scout, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity. That individual was not authorized to speak publicly about his assessment. “It was like watching an actor trying to portray a baseball player.”
As one could imagine, the American League scout isn’t alone in his thinking, but not everyone shares in the same opinion.
According to a National League scout, he came out of the workout “Better than I expected.”
He said of the 6’3’, 260-pound Tebow, “…That’s a big dude, for as fast as he can run. The power was impressive, but I wish he could have translated it (maybe) a little better (against live pitching).”
First, Tebow ran the 60-yard dash Five scouts clocked him from 6.65 seconds to 6.82 seconds — an impressive showing, especially for an athlete his size.
Next, after a private session in the batting cage, Tebow emerged for batting practice — and enlivened the crowd. On his sixth pitch, he pounded the ball beyond the 365-foot sign in right-center field. It was just a start, as Tebow launched shots over the scoreboard and above the towering trees beyond the right-field fence.
In all, eight balls left the yard.
“That was big power,’’ a scout said. “He was mis-hitting the ball out of the park.’’
Finally, Tebow faced live pitching from former major league relievers Chad Smith and David Aardsma. Of the approximately 60 pitches Tebow saw, not one cleared the fences. He did hit the top of the fence in left field, hit another ball that landed at the base of the fence, and cracked some line drives. Generally he looked overmatched, especially against off-speed pitches.
Tebow’s camp envisions a major league future as a corner outfielder. His throwing (grading out at a 45 out of 80) and his defensive(50) need vast improvement if there is any hope of him reaching the majors. Getting his feet wet in independent league ball wouldn’t be the worst thing for Tebow, but if there is a possibility for Tebow to play both Indy ball and Winter ball, he should grab at the chance as quickly as a linebacker sacks a quarterback.
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