Tim Tebow’s Arizona Fall League season ends with horrendous assessments by scouts

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The Arizona Fall League ends this week. Tim Tebow’s stint in the Fall League ended last night. The final batting line: .194/.296/.242 in 70 plate appearances in 19 games. He hit three doubles and no homers. He walked eight times. He struck out 20 times.

To be fair, Tebow did improve as his fall season wore on, increasing his walk rate and picking up some more hits — he was 8-for-his-last-30. The concern, however, is that the one thing scouts said he really had going for him — his power — was AWOL in Arizona. In improved batting eye was encouraging, but if you can’t use that eye to pick your spots to deploy your home run swing, it’s not worth a ton.

Ultimately, of course, we’re talking about very small sample sizes here, rendering a mere look at the stats less important than it might otherwise be. More important would be the assessment of scouts who would be in a position to look past the results and determine whether there was anything promising there. Batting approaches that, even if they didn’t result in a lot of hits, could provide the scaffolding for something he could build in the low minors next spring. What do the scouts think on that score?

“Awful,” said one AL scout.

“Stinks,” said one from the NL.

“Ugly,” said another executive. “In the field and at the plate, nothing looks natural.”

Yikes.

Executives quoted in that story, from the New York Post, are a bit more charitable. They note that he did improve with instruction and that he was “not an embarrassment.” One notes that he was, as expected, a good influence on his teammates. One also notes, however, that his age is the primary thing working against him. The suggestion being that his skills are extremely rudimentary at this point and would take so much time to get up to a useful level, he’ll likely be too old if he ever reaches that level.

The biggest question now is what the Mets do with Tebow. He says he is still committed to playing. Sandy Alderson sounds like he’s still committed to the Tebow experiment. I’d assume a rookie league team is the place to be in 2017, but we’ll see in the spring.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.