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Tim Tebow nearly drafted by MLB's Los Angeles Angels

Tim Tebow showed a glimpse of his baseball potential when he "awed" the Memphis University School's high school team by hitting 12 of 15 pitches out of the park in batting practice three years ago.

Now that Tebow has found his way to New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox scout Tom Kotchman told WEEI beat writer Rob Bradford that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim wanted to draft the three-sport star out of high school. If Tebow had returned his information card to the Angels, "we were going to take him," said Kotchman, who was scouting for the team at the time.

Was Tebow a legitimate Major League Baseball prospect? He didn't play as a senior, but Tebow hit .494 as a junior while leading Nease High School to the final four of the Florida state playoffs, earning all-state honors along the way.

"I believe he could have played in the big leagues," said Nease coach Greg "Boo" Mullins, who called Tebow a "six-tool player" and a potential Round 7 to 12 draft pick.

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"He had a strong arm and had a lot of power," said Red Sox Florida scout Stephen Hargett, who worked with Kotchman with the Angels. "He had leverage to his swing. He had some natural loft. He had some good power. He was a good athlete. He had enough arm for that position. He was a left-handed hitter with strength and some size. He stood out. He was bigger and stronger than everybody. ... It was just easy for him. You thought, if this guy dedicated everything to baseball like he did to football, how good could he be?"

Tebow opted for football because "he just had a bigger fire" for the sport, Mullins explained. One can't help but wonder if he would have found more success on the diamond, where players with unconventional and inartistic mechanics have flourished since the myth of Abner Doubleday was created.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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