EL notes: Tebow taking to the competition

Mets outfielder making necessary adjustments with Binghamton

Tim Tebow is hitting .310 with three homers and nine RBIs in 13 games this month for the Rumble Ponies. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

By Craig Forde / Special to MiLB.com | May 16, 2018 10:00 AM

A month into his second full season in the Minors, Binghamton outfielder Tim Tebow is finding that the competition at Double-A has a plan for him, and they're sticking to it.

In response, the 30-year-old former NFL quarterback is playing the adjustment game, finding in it the desired level of competition that he craves and, more recently, the results that prove his ability to play at this level.

"On some of the other levels they'll try to have a plan, but they'll get away from it, go back to what they feel comfortable with," said Tebow, who split time between Class A Columbia and Class A Advanced St. Lucie last year. "I think here, you have more teams and series where they really try to stick to how they're pitching you. If you adjust to that, then they're going to make adjustments. … I think you learn how to understand when you're not doing something well, when you need to adjust something, when you need to continue to make more adjustments after they've adjusted. Everything goes into it. I love it. I love the competition of it."

Though the former University of Florida signal caller did homer in his first at-bat for the Rumble Ponies this season -- something he has now done in three stops since starting his baseball journey in 2016 -- he found himself hitting just .214 over his first 12 games.

As adjustments would have it, Tebow has hit .290 in the 19 games since, stroking three home runs and driving in 11 while scoring nine times.

In 13 May games, he has four multi-hit performances, a .310 batting average and a 1.002 OPS.

Video: Binghamton's Tebow ties the game with a homer

"I feel really good at the plate. I feel like I keep on improving, feel good about the adjustments we've made on the basepaths and in the field," he said. "It's a game of consistency and trying to do it over and over, putting good swings together, good at-bats together, good games, good series. Just trying to be as consistent as possible."

On the year, Tebow has played 22 games for the Rumble Ponies in left field, making one error to go with one assist. He's served as the designated hitter on nine occasions. Though he hit .226 in his first full season, prompting some to question the Mets' decision to start him in Double-A this year, he's shown his capability for translating his undeniable athleticism into the game of baseball.

For the former football player, these recent successes can be also chalked up to a greater understanding of the differences in preparation between the sports, which in turn has allowed him to continue to fall back in love with a game he has no desire to give up on anytime soon.

"It's getting used to the grind, but it's also understanding how to embrace your body for it and prepare for that, adjust to it," Tebow said. "It's different that way. I'm enjoying it. As long as I'm passionate about it, I'm enjoying it and I feel like it's what I want to be doing at the moment. There's a lot of things that my heart's in -- we're doing a lot with our foundation, we're in a lot of countries, we're trying to change the world as much as we can. That's always stuff that I'm doing. For right now, this is a time in my life where I'm really enjoying this."

In brief

Multi-hit May: Hartford shortstop Garrett Hampson has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games, but what makes his efforts unique is that he has collected exactly two hits in each of those games. During this stretch, the Rockies' No. 7 prospect has scored 12 runs, driven in five, walked eight times and is 6-for-6 on stolen base attempts. Hampson leads the league with 19 stolen bases, is tied for second with 28 runs scored and is fourth with 43 hits.

Paw patrol: While eyes may focus more intently on New Hampshire's popular young lineup, there is just as much happening on the bump for the Fisher Cats, where Sean Reid-Foley has earned a win in five of his seven starts this season. The No. 10 Blue Jays prospect is 5-0 with a 1.88 ERA (sixth in the circuit), a 1.04 WHIP and a league-leading 46 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings. Batters are hitting just .169 against the right-hander, who has let up three or fewer hits in four of his outings and two runs or fewer in all seven.

Do not pass go: The Erie SeaWolves' catching crew has been making it mighty tough for the opposition to even consider trying to steal a base. Through 36 games, they've gunned down 20 of 38 runners trying to swipe a bag. Their league-best 53 percent caught-stealing rate is fronted by fifth-ranked Tigers prospect Jake Rogers, who has thrown out 14 of 25 runners, while Kade Scivicque has eliminated three of six runners and Arvicent Perez, three of seven.

Craig Forde is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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