Tim Tebow, OF, NYM

I thought it would be an interesting contrast to the top prospects I’ve been covering to instead talk about a minor leaguer who has not made it to the majors, and who the scouts do not think has much of a chance. What do such a player’s numbers and charts tell us that the scouts already see?

So I picked an obscure player none of you will have heard of. An anonymous minor leaguer doing his best to reach the majors after years of trying.

Video courtesy of Walt Hilsenbeck
  • Born: August 14, 1987
  • B/T: Left/Left
  • 6’3″, 245lb
  • Signed to a minor league contract by the New York Mets in 2016.

The Numbers

Those are his raw numbers, but let’s aggregate by level and focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

In contrast to other minor leaguers, here we see no green whatsoever. The only blue is a good walk rate that is slowly descending as he climbs levels, and a solitary OBP mark that was acceptable in 2018.

Below-average marks for his power, until he reached AAA and his power cratered. His Hard% tells us these ISO levels are deserved. He has no speed (that is being used, at any rate). And his strikeout rates have gone right down the color spectrum from good to below-average to poor.

He kept his head above OBP water against lefties, but was hopeless against righties. That won’t cut it.

He hits a lot of doubles to the opposite field, doesn’t he? Same with the home runs.

2017 looked promising. 2018 started poor then took off and mostly held in decent territory. 2019 was a horror show, then he hurt his hand in August and the season was done.

The Scouts

Oh, let’s be kind and just note that Tebow makes none of the top prospect lists.

Warnings

He’s 32.

He’s getting worse at each level, and AAA was bad.

He hit .154 in spring training 2020.

Conclusion

OK, this was just an exercise to find a player not called up and see if the numbers inform why he hadn’t been called up. The numbers are clear.

Tim Tebow is a fantastic athletic, and a genuinely nice human being. Baseball is incredibly hard for anyone, and only a tiny few make it to the major leagues. Tim might get there, but it won’t be because he is breaking down the doors to get there. If he does get to the majors, keep your on-field expectations modest.

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