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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Angels wanted to draft Tim Tebow out of high school to play baseball

Tim TebowTim Tebow was an excellent multi-sport athlete in high school, and he was so good that he could have pursed a career in professional baseball had he been interested.

Rob Bradford of WEEI shared a great story last week about scouts who watched Tebow play baseball as a high schooler in Florida. One of the scouts was Tom Kotchman, who is presently a Florida area scout for the Boston Red Sox, and the father of Miami Marlins first baseman Casey Kotchman. Kotchman, then with the Angels, wanted to draft the hulking high schooler.

“We wanted to draft him,” Kotchman remembered, “but he never sent back his information card. Either it never got to him, or … It’s Tim Tebow. Who knows if it got to him, and if it did we just never got it back. Otherwise were were going to take him.”

Tebow was homeschooled but played sports for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Fla. As a junior, WEEI says Tebow batted .494 with four home runs while leading his team to the final four of the state playoffs.

Red Sox Florida scout Stephen Hargett provided WEEI with an analysis of Tebow’s abilities.

“He had a strong arm and had a lot of power. If he would have been there his senior year he definitely would have had a good chance to be drafted,” Hargett, who worked with Kotchman with the Angels, told WEEI. “He had leverage to his swing. He had some natural loft. He had some good power. He was a good athlete. He had had enough arm for that position. He was a left-handed hitter with strength and some size.”

Hargett also raved about Tebow’s size. At 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, Tebow is bigger than many of his football-playing teammates, so you can imagine how much bigger he was than most high school baseball players.

Alas, Tebow was a two-time Florida Player of the Year in football and led the program to the state title in his senior year. He committed to Florida and skipped his senior season of baseball to enroll in Gainesville for the spring semester.

Tebow may not be having the kind of pro career he hoped for, but he did win a Heisman Trophy and become an icon by playing football, so you can say he made the right choice. As for his current baseball abilities, well, three years ago when he took a round of batting practice at a Memphis high school, he reportedly put 12 of 15 pitches out of the park. Maybe he could try returning to baseball if the NFL doesn’t work out. It’s not like minor league teams wouldn’t love to have him in uniform.

H/T Cut Four



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