Today is September 1, which means rosters can be expanded to include anyone on a team’s 40-man roster. With that in mind, we should see plenty of prospects and minor league veterans added to rosters over the next couple of days. We likely aren’t going to see big names like Dylan Bundy, Billy Hamilton and Wil Myers this month, but the Rangers are calling up Jurickson Profar, who is widely regarded the game’s top position prospect.
Bryce Harper was previously the youngest player in the big leagues, but that title now goes to Profar, who is four months younger and doesn’t turn 20 until next February. Yes, we have 1993 birthdays in MLB now. Try not to get too depressed by that.
Profar, a 6-foot-0 switch-hitter, batted .281/.368/.452 with 14 home runs, 62 RBI, 16 stolen bases and an .820 OPS in 126 games this season with Double-A Frisco. The Curacao native is blocked by Elvis Andrus at shortstop and by Ian Kinsler at second base, so he’s expected to serve as a backup middle infielder down the stretch and possibly during the postseason. But hey, at least Mike Olt has someone to hang out with on the bench.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.