NEW YORK -- Injury has forced a premature end to Mets Minor League outfielder Tim Tebow’s season for the second consecutive year, sources confirmed on Saturday. The former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback will not return this season due to a laceration he suffered last month on his left hand. The wound required stitches.
Tebow was batting .163/.240/.255 over 77 games in his first year at Triple-A Syracuse, striking out 98 times in 264 plate appearances. Last year, Tebow missed the final two-plus months of the season due to a broken bone in his right hand, which required surgery.
The injuries have not stalled Tebow’s progress up the Mets’ Minor League ladder, but they have prevented the organization from even considering calling him up to the Majors. Still, a source said on Saturday that Tebow has given the Mets no indication he intends to stop playing. He will turn 32 next week.
"I’m all in on baseball,” Tebow said earlier this year. “I’ve never been [to the Majors], so I can’t tell you exactly what it takes. I just know that I’m giving it everything that I have every day.”
Tebow has never offered hard answers when asked about how long he intends to play professional baseball, though he has become more open in recent years about his goal of reaching the Majors. The Mets expect him to continue playing at least long enough to make a realistic run at that goal.
Before fracturing his hamate bone last season, Tebow -- due in large part to the Mets being out of contention -- was a candidate to make his big league debut in September. For a time, he seemed to be on his way, posting a .273/.336/.399 line at Double-A Binghamton and making the Eastern League All-Star team. But hand surgery prevented Mets officials from having a serious conversation about promoting him. After the season, the Mets chose not to retain general manager Sandy Alderson, who initially signed Tebow in 2016.
The Mets’ new GM, Brodie Van Wagenen, was Tebow’s agent before leaving CAA to join the Mets. He has spoken extremely favorably of Tebow in the past.
“I definitely see a baseball player out of Tim Tebow,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said this spring. “Not just because he’s in a uniform, but because he wants it so bad.”