Sportress of Blogitude

MLB insider calls Tim Tebow ‘an imposter pretending to have talent’


Tim Tebow’s performance during his appearance in the Arizona Fall League has been mixed at best, downright sub-par at worst. And now an MLB prospects expert has eviscerated Tebow in a scathing column, calling the aspiring ballplayer “an imposter pretending to have talent he does not possess.”

ESPN’s Keith Law is the writer behind the a piece published Friday (subscription required) entitled, “Scouting Tim Tebow: Former NFLer doesn’t belong in AFL — or professional baseball.” In his column, Law takes Tebow to task for poor bat speed, poor foot speed and poor approach to patrolling the outfield.

In essence, as far as Tebow’s mere presence at the Arizona Fall League is concerned, Law argues “that there’s absolutely no baseball justification for Tebow to be here.”

Ever since Tebow emerged on the national stage while evolving into a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and two-time national champion with the Florida Gators, he’s been a polarizing figure. This became much more prominent once Tebow failed to cut it as an NFL quarterback. And yet he attracted arguably far too much attention in light of his on-field shortcomings.

While the reasons Tebow became an NFL superstar despite not playing like one were obvious: His charisma, his deeply-held Christian faith — not to mention all the Tebowing — drew people to him.

And when Tebow announced he would pursue a career in professional baseball? And how the New York Mets took a flier on him? Many suggested the only reason a 29-year-old who hadn’t played baseball in years was given such an opportunity was due to his celebrity. The fact that the Mets were able to garner incredible publicity didn’t hurt, either.

In fact, Law’s critical takedown isn’t even the first time Tebow has been harshly criticized as he pursues his pro baseball dream. Although he does have some pretty powerful supporters as well.

In the end, though, his performance on the field will be the ultimate determinant on how far he progresses in his baseball career. Despite images of him crashing into a wall — as well as the inspiring story about how he came to the aid of a fan suffering a seizure — Tebow will have to prove he can compete with his fellow prospects before anything becomes of his celebrated — and alternatively maligned — pursuit.

What’s worse, the early results certainly haven’t been all that encouraging, either.

[Hardball Talk]