Tim Tebow will continue to follow his baseball dreams in South Carolina.
The Heisman winning quarterback has been assigned to play with the Mets' lowSingle-A team, the Columbia Fireflies, where he is expected to play in every game.
“Sending him to a full season club is what we hoped to be able to do,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Newsday. “And based on what he’s done in spring training, and his whole body of work since last fall, we feel comfortable with him going to Columbia.”
According to the Fireflies, who trumpeted the news on their website,Tebow will wear his signature No. 15.
"Tim Tebow will bring major excitement and national attention to the Fireflies and city of Columbia," Fireflies presidentJohn Katz said.
Tebow made his Grapefruit League debut earlier in March, whenAlderson admitted the former NFL and Heisman Trophy-winning QBwas "somewhat overmatched, especially early on."
He wentwent 0 for 3 with two strikeouts as the Mets' designated hitter in his debut against the Red Sox on March 8, but continued to improve as spring training went on.
“We were concerned that it might be a stretch at some point, or could be a stretch,” Alderson said. “But what he’s done in spring training has convinced us that this is where he should go. And he’s prepared for it.”
He is now hitting .235 after eight spring training games, which isn't the best, but certainly not bad for someone who hasn't played competitive baseball since high school.
However, Alderson is adamant Tebow being with the Mets is not a publicity stunt.
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“That’s such a bogus argument,” Alderson said. “We’ve got lots of room for lots of players at lots of different levels. The fact that he’s starting at Columbia, he’s really not taking anybody’s spot. By the way, we have lots of players in our organization who are just that: organizational players. Not every player that we have is a top prospect, whose opportunity is being curtailed by Tim Tebow or anybody else.”
Tebow's debut with the Fireflies will be April 6 against Augusta.