Tim Tebow had his workout Tuesday afternoon in front of a crowd of over 40 scouts, representing 28 MLB teams, including the Royals. And at least according to ESPN football analyst Marcellus Wiley, Tebow has already gotten an offer from the Royals.
Tebow's workout comments: Crushing BP 450ft. Couldn't adjust on/off speed. Fielding awkward. Would be the biggest dude in MLB. KC offered!— Marcellus Wiley (@marcelluswiley) August 30, 2016
Bob Fescoe of 610 KCSP says otherwise, however.
I am being told the #royals did NOT offer Tebow. Lets see what plays out— Bob Fescoe (@bobfescoe) August 30, 2016
The workout went just fine, as he faced live batting practice from former Major League relievers David Aardsma and Chad Smith. His talent left a wide variety of opinions.
NL scout on gave serious praise to Tim Tebow, "That raw power is irreplaceable," asked him to grade his power, "80"— Taylor Blake Ward (@TaylorBlakeWard) August 30, 2016
Tim Tebow ran the 60-yard dash in 6.65 seconds. By @MLB scouting standards, he's an above-average runner. @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) August 30, 2016
Kudos to Tim Tebow for effort,but in words of 1 scout:He looked like an actor trying to portray a baseball player.' https://t.co/lW1oYW5mu6— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 30, 2016
NL scout says Tim Tebow is "fringe but servicable" outfielder, would be okay to put in left field, arm lacks true carry, 45-grade— Taylor Blake Ward (@TaylorBlakeWard) August 30, 2016
Where's Tim Tebow's hype man?
Remember, Tebow took flies in center looking into a hellacious sun. Did not bobble or miss a one.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) August 30, 2016
What does Lorenzo Cain think of Tim Tebow's chances of returning to baseball at age 29 for the first time since high school?
"It’s going to be a tough grind for him because baseball is definitely a tough sport — something that you can’t just pick up after not playing for I don’t know how many years," Cain said. "It’s going to be a tough transition for him, but we all know he’s an athlete. I guess we’ll see what happens with that."
The Royals are no stranger to being interested in football players. They drafted future NFL pros Archie Manning, Steve Bartkowski, Dan Marino, John Elway, and Deion Sanders, and of course, famously drafted and signed Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson, who became an All-Star outfielder for them. More recently they took a gamble on former West Virginia quarterback Pat White and drafted Nebraska football recruit Bubba Starling in the first round.
The Royals are also big on clubhouse character and players with strong faith, which Tebow would grade as 80. It is fairly unprecedented for an athlete to pick up the game at a professional level after this much time off, but D.J. Dozier and Brian Jordan both played professional baseball after short NFL careers, and NBA star Michael Jordan hit .200 in AA ball at the age of 31 after not playing since high school.
It seems like this is a harmless publicity stunt, but if Tebow is serious, who knows? At the very worst, Tebow causes a bit of a distraction to some minor league team in the Royals system, and costs some other player a job. At best, the Royals can refine his pure athleticism the way they did with the old Royals Academy, which took a raw football player named UL Washington, and turned him into their starting shortstop for several years. Small market teams like the Royals need to be a bit creative finding talent, and Tim Tebow may just be a risk worth taking.