Can former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow successfully make the transition from American football to baseball? The New York Mets believe he can.
Mets hitting coach Kevin Long said he would not bet against Tebow, 29, making it to the MLB.
"I don't count out the fact that maybe, at some point, [Tebow] can break through into the major leagues," Long told 1070 The Fan. "He's put together like no other athlete we've ever seen.
"He's got a lot of work to do, he understands that. He knows it's not gonna be easy, but having seen his swing now and worked with him a little bit, I'm not so sure that he can't break through maybe give himself a chance to get [to the majors]."
Tebow was the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner at Florida. The Denver Broncos selected him in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Though he did help the Broncos win a playoff game in his second season, he struggled with accuracy and had failed stints with the New York Jets, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles after the Broncos traded him to the Jets following the 2011 season.
Tebow had been away from baseball for 11 years when the Mets signed him to a minor-league contract in September.
He hit .194 in 70 plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League, but Mets manager Terry Collins said Tuesday that Tebow would be welcomed at spring training.
"We're in New York. We can handle anybody with a name on his back in our camp," Collins said.
"If they decide to send him to camp, we'll get him better. I can tell you, I certainly hope you will see Tim Tebow in some of our games."