By Sterling Pingree
Tim Tebow is an All-Star in the Eastern League this season, the same league in which the Red Sox Double-A affiliate the Portland Sea Dogs play. The Sea Dogs only had one offensive player named to that same team, first basemen Josh Ockimey. Ockimey is currently ranked as the 8th best prospect in the Red Sox system who has 12 home runs while batting .252. Ockimey is having the best season offensively by a Sox prospect above A-ball. This raised the question to me, where would Tim Tebow rank currently in the shallow depths of the Red Sox farm system?
Tim Tebow has raised his average over 40 points over the last two months, bringing his average to .271, add in his 6 home runs and better than average defense and it’s easy to see why the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner is having success in his second sport. While taking into account that the Mets are one of the worst teams in baseball, many suspect that Tebow will get a call up to the big league club in September. In this very special case, a call up for Tebow would probably have more to do with his name value and trying to make a splash at the end of a lost season for the Mets than talent alone. However his talent cannot be discounted completely because look at what a team like the Red Sox (who have the best record before the All-Star break in MLB history by the way) has left in their cupboard, one can only imagine the Red Sox wouldn’t turn their noses up at having a Tim Tebow as a September call up.
The Sox farm system is epically thin after being pillaged in making the Sale, Kimbrel and Thornburg trades. The top ranked prospect by SoxProspects.com is Michael Chavis, who returned this month after missing 80-games with a PED suspension. The next highest offensive player is Tristan Casas, whom I will forgive you if you aren’t familiar with and unless you were invited to his high school graduation BBQ this spring, you probably aren’t. Casas is only 18, played high school baseball this year and injured his hand after just a couple of pro at-bats. Ockimey is the next highest offensive player and the top 10 is rounded out by Bobby Dalbec and CJ Chatham who both play in single-A Salem.
So where would Tim Tebow rank amongst this group of vastly unproven commodities? As far as the 2018 season goes, Tebow would be the only player on this group mentioned above that could have any impact at the Major League level this season. Chavis hasn’t played enough this year, Ockimey has power but is still rather raw, having played as much Double-A ball as Tebow has. Dalbec is making an impact, but it’s at Single-A Salem so a jump to the majors is both unlikely and unwise. In terms of being Major League ready in September of 2018, Tebow is at least on par with Josh Ockimey and Michael Chavis. But here is the rub.
If the Mets approached the Red Sox and tried to trade Tim Tebow for any of the four Sox offensive prospects in the top 10: Chavis, Ockimey, Dalbec or Chatham, I doubt that Dave Dombrowski would even have enough breath to respond through his laughter. The future for all four are brighter than the former NFL quarterback because they have a lot more time to develop as Tebow turns 31-years old in August.
Is Tebow better than what the Red Sox have in the minors? Yes and no. Would the farm system be more exciting in the here and now if Tim Tebow were playing left field in Pawtucket? Emphatically, YES!
Sterling Pingree (@SterlingPingree on Twitter) is a co-host of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook.com, Drive Show Maine.