Mets send Tim Tebow to Single-A Columbia to begin the season

The next stop of Tim Tebow’s journey to becoming a major leaguer has been decided. The New York Mets are expected to send the 29-year-old quarterback turned outfielder to Single-A Columbia to open the season as a member of the Fireflies.

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While Single-A is a far cry from the majors, the assignment shouldn’t come as a major surprise. Tebow hasn’t played baseball competitively since high school, and has struggled this spring, hitting .235 over seven games.

Tim Tebow will open the season in Columbia. (AP Photo)

While hitting .235 given all those circumstances can be viewed as a major accomplishment, it’s clear Tebow still needs a lot of work. While 29 is ancient for a Single-A player, Tebow isn’t the type of guy the Mets can promote aggressively. Single-A should provide a strong enough challenge considering his lack of experience.

Since Tebow is so far behind from a development standpoint, he needs as many reps as he can get at this point in his career. That’s not exactly a surprise. Even some of Tebow’s teammates have said he still needs to get a feel for the nuances of the game. The Mets recognize this, obviously, and that played into their decision to start Tebow at Single-A. With the Fireflies, he’ll be able to play every day.

Up until this point, Tebow’s conversion to baseball has mostly been viewed as a sideshow. Now that he’s going to the minors, the whole thing seems a bit more real.

When the Fireflies’ season begins April 6, Tebow is going to have to grind it out like every other player. Whether he can handle that transition remains to be seen.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!