Twins’ outfielder LaMonte Wade left Saturday’s AFL Military Appreciation Game after sustaining a blow to the “head and neck area,” per reports from MLB.com’s William Boor.
Wade collided with Cardinals’ prospect Oscar Mercado while diving for an Austin Riley fly ball in the top of the second inning. According to Boor, he was down on the field for several minutes before being removed from the game on a stretcher. He has been stabilized and taken to a local hospital for further treatment.
The 23-year-old outfielder is in his third year of pro ball with the Twins’ organization. He was drafted in the ninth round of the 2015 amateur draft and currently ranks 17th-best in Minnesota’s system (via MLB Pipeline). He slashed .292/.397/.408 during his first Double-A run in 2017, collecting seven home runs, nine stolen bases and an .805 OPS over 519 plate appearances.
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.