Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has set his sights on a career on the diamond as an outfielder, as the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner plans to hold workouts for all 30 MLB teams later this month, according to reports on Tuesday.Tebow, who will turn 29 on Sunday, hasn't played competitive
Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has set his sights on a career on the diamond as an outfielder, as the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner plans to hold workouts for all 30 MLB teams later this month, according to reports on Tuesday.
Tebow, who will turn 29 on Sunday, hasn't played competitive baseball since 2005, his junior year at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Verde, Fla., where he was a three-sport standout, also playing basketball and, of course, football.
The Angels reportedly considered drafting Tebow out of high school in 2006, but he never returned an information card at the club's request, and the team moved on. At least one team considered drafting him this year.
"This may sound like a publicity stunt, but nothing could be further from the truth," Brodie Van Wagenen, co-head of the baseball division at CAA Sports, said in a statement. "I have seen Tim's workouts, and people inside and outside the industry -- scouts, executives, players and fans -- will be impressed by his talent. ... Tim's tool set is real. His physicality is unique in professional baseball. His work ethic is unprecedented, and his passion for the game is infectious. He knows the challenges that lie ahead of him given his age and experience, but he is determined to achieve his goal of playing in the Major Leagues."
Tebow wowed with his power as a high school prospect, hitting homers in batting practice reportedly just shy of 500 feet. He was touted as a five-tool player.
Tebow played left field in high school, and as a junior, he hit .494 with four homers and led Nease to the semifinal round of the state playoffs. He didn't continue with baseball his senior year, and instead enrolled at the University of Florida early to get started on his college football career, giving up the chance to follow up his all-state honors on the diamond.
"He could have been a good prospect if he had played more," a scout who saw Tebow play in high school told MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. "He was super strong with power, though he was a bit stiff."
Tebow went on to lead the Gators to two national titles on the gridiron and won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, becoming the first sophomore winner in the award's illustrious history.
Tebow was a first-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos and led them to a division title in 2011, but was traded to the New York Jets the following year when the team signed Peyton Manning. He hasn't made a full-time roster since, though he has had training camp stints with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
Tebow, who worked in the past on passing mechanics with former pro baseball players Tom House and Adam Dedeaux at the University of Southern California, has been training at Chad Moeller Baseball in Scottsdale, Ariz., according to his agency.
"I am beyond impressed with Tim's athleticism and swing, and it goes without saying that he has shown a high level of discipline and strong work ethic," said Moeller, a Major League catcher from 2000-10. "I see bat speed and power and real baseball talent. I truly believe Tim has the skill set and potential to achieve his goal of playing in the Major Leagues, and based on what I have seen over the past two months, it could happen relatively quickly."
Brewers manager Craig Counsell weighed in after his team's 2-1 loss to the Braves on Tuesday.
"I welcome guys trying," he said. "I think it's great for the sport that he's trying. I think that it's fun that he's trying. … He'll find out how hard it is."
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.