Mets Promoting Tim Tebow To High-A Florida State League Team Full view

PEORIA, AZ - OCTOBER 13: Tim Tebow #15 (New York Mets) of the Scottsdale Scorpions warms up on deck during the Arizona Fall League game against the Peoria Javelinas at Peoria Stadium on October 13, 2016 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Mets Promoting Tim Tebow To High-A Florida State League Team

Tim Tebow is getting a promotion.

Tim Tebow Promoted by Mets from Class-A Columbia Fireflies

The New York Mets announced on Sunday that they are moving the former Heisman Trophy winner from the low-Class A Columbia Fireflies of South Carolina to  high-A Port St. Lucie of the Florida League beginning Tuesday.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson praised Tebow — who will be 30 in August — for his slugging performance this past season.

“His on-base (percentage), isolated power, swing, exit velocity, a lot of different things have been much better in the last 15 games,” Alderson said. “On the other hand, we recognize this is not the normal, usual circumstance, but we just felt that given everything involved, this was about the right time for him to move up to high A.’’

Tebow hit .22 with three home runs, 3 RBIs, a .311 on-base percentage and a .340 slugging percentage with 69 strikeouts and 23 walks in 212 at-bats for the Fireflies in the 2016-2017 campaign. These statistics don’t generally seem like the ones that would justify a promotion.

“I wouldn’t say he has excelled” at Columbia, Alderson said. “But at the same time, what he’s done there — given all the circumstances — justified the promotion.”

Alderson added that Tebow’s OPS was nearly twice as high at home as it was on the road, although the Mets GM said he didn’t know how to assess that.

Tebow joined the Mets in September 2016 and played in both the Florida Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League.

“For me, it’s not something I have to answer,” Tebow said Sunday. “There’s a lot of smarter, wiser people than me that make those decisions. I just try and show up and play hard every day.”

The former New York Jets and Denver Broncos quarterback spent time at his new club’s training ground in Port St. Lucie recently, so the area will be familiar. Before playing in the NFL, Tebow led the University of Florida Gators to a national championship in 2007, so the state is naturally a home to him.

“I obviously love Florida, so this is nice,” Tebow said. “But the goal and focus is improving as a baseball player.”

The former NFL quarterback seemed at ease in Columbia’s clubhouse despite him being ten years older than many of his teammates.

“We’ve said he’s just one of 25 guys,” Columbia president John Katz said. “At the end of the day, he really is. He wants to succeed. He puts in the work, and hopefully, he’ll have continued success at a higher level.”

Tebow was a practice squad member for the New England Patriots in 2013 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, but never played during the regular season for those teams.

PEORIA, AZ – OCTOBER 13: Tim Tebow #15 (New York Mets) of the Scottsdale Scorpions warms up on deck during the Arizona Fall League game against the Peoria Javelinas at Peoria Stadium on October 13, 2016 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Written by Pablo Mena