Tim Tebow held his baseball showcase at USC on Tuesday in front of 50 media members and 40 scouts. It went about as well as can be expected for a 29-year-old football player who hasn't played a game of organized baseball since George W. Bush's first term in office.
We spoke to NFL Media colleague Tony Garcia, a former Pepperdine University standout and Chicago Cubs farm product who was on hand in Los Angeles. He also played shortstop on our company softball team that won an LA City title last month, so yeah, he's legit.
Here's what he had to say about Tebow's big day.
Sooooooo ... did Tim Tebow embarrass himself?
He did not. He is in incredible shape. He is very strong. He is very large and moves very well. He had a very average workout from beginning to end. He surprised me in certain things but I don't see him being very successful at a pro baseball level.
What would you say were his biggest flaws?
He looked dreadful in the outfield. Very stiff, lumbered around. You learn in Little League when it comes to fly balls that it's first step back and adjust. And on the first two balls they hit out to him in center field he rushed in like two strides and then had to recover and sprint just to catch a routine pop fly. Again, you learn that in Little League, so that tells me he overlooked the defense in getting ready for this and focused on the hitting because he looked really bad out there.
There are reports that his arm didn't look strong either, which is surprising.
It didn't. I noticed when he was warming up and playing catch. His ball was dying off in the end -- there was no explosion to it. A big-league arm, it doesn't matter if you're an infielder, an outfielder, behind the plate. When you're playing catch, there's no die in it. And his balls were losing steam as they were getting to his throwing partner. His arm is average to below-average.
According to reports, Tebow hit some bombs in batting practice but struggled against live pitching.
He's had some serious pop in batting practice. He hit six or seven out -- two of them were absolutely mammoth shots, over the scoreboard, top-of-the-pine-trees type stuff. That's 430-, 440-(foot) range. And that's all him -- BP balls are only coming in 40- or 50 miles per hour, so that's all his strength. That wasn't the case when the real pitching came in.
When the real guys got on the mound (former major league relievers Chad Smith and David Aardsma) they carved him up a bit. He has a very long swing, and every ball he hit hard was to left field. And every ball he hit it wasn't because he was trying to put it there -- it was as quick as he could get around. He didn't pull a single ball in live batting practice. He's got a nice swing ... it's just long. And it was a very successful swing at the high school level and maybe could cut it at the D-I level, but it's not going to cut it at the pro level.
So he has zero chance to pull this off?
I don't want to say there's zero chance, but that would be a long shot worthy of a movie.