Could Tim Tebow play a second season at Triple-A Syracuse for the Mets? The chance of that happening isn’t out of the question, according to Syracuse manager Gary Tony DeFrancesco.
“Right now, it’s a good place for Tim Tebow to be because there’s not a 22-year-old waiting in Double-A, the next phenom,” DeFrancesco told Syracuse.com before his team’s 9-6 loss to Durham Tuesday night. “Some of the prospects were traded for some of the transactions that they (New York) made at the major league level.”
“I think next year we’ll be in the same situation. A lot of veteran guys are going to have to be signed to help the major league team at both levels. Hopefully the young kids that are down in (Single-A) Columbia and Port St. Lucie are on their way up to get to Double-A next year.”
The lack of outfield prospects in the Mets’ organization backs up DeFrancesco’s assertion. According to MLB.com, the Mets don’t have a top prospect until the No. 18 spot which means it wouldn’t be surprising if the Mets give Tebow, a left-fielder, another chance at Triple-A to realize his big-league dream.
Tebow was initially placed on the injured list on July 23 after suffering a cut on his left pinkie — requiring eight stitches — while making a play in the field, and it was determined that it wouldn’t heal before Syracuse’s season was over.
Tebow’s season also was cut short last year in Double-A Binghamton, where he was named an All-Star, because of a broken hamate bone in his right hand that July.
Tebow, who has advanced farther in professional baseball than many thought, finished the year hitting .163 with four homers — 19 RBIs and 98 strikeouts in 264 plate appearances spanning 77 games. Though he didn’t have enough at-bats to place among qualifiers, his batting average, slugging percentage (.255), on-base percentage (.240) and OPS (.495) would have placed him at the bottom of the International League by far in each category, according to Syracuse.com.
DeFranceso and Syracuse catcher Rene Rivera, who has played in the majors, said they believe Tebow still can be successful in Triple-A.
“It might take a little more time than people expected, third year professional ball, first year Triple-A. Unfortunately, injuries got to him. Those are at-bats that I think Tim really needs to develop, to really understand his swing, his decision-making, seeing pitches. So I think that still has to improve,” DeFrancesco said.
“Honestly, I think it was a learning experience for him. He tried. He didn’t seem to be so comfortable with the league. This is a tough league,” Rivera said. “This is a lot of veteran players, a lot of upcoming big-leaguers. We know that he didn’t do well by the numbers. But I think the good thing that he takes with him is the experience that he can come next year and be more comfortable and know what he has to do to be successful.”
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