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Tim Tebow is taking the next step in his baseball career

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Though Tim Tebow is just a few games into his professional baseball career, the Mets believe he’s ready for the next step. The former quarterback turned outfielder will play in the Arizona Fall League, the team announced.

Given Tebow’s lack of baseball experience, the move isn’t necessarily performance-based. Tebow has played in just a handful of games in the instructional league. And while he did hit a home run in his first at-bat, that’s not enough to really justify a promotion. Think of it more as the next logical step in Tebow’s journey as a professional ballplayer.

Tim Tebow will face legitimate competition in the AFL. (Getty Images/Rob Foldy)
Tim Tebow will face legitimate competition in the AFL. (Getty Images/Rob Foldy)

If anything, the move to the AFL should present quite the challenge for the 29-year-old Tebow. Many teams send their elite prospects to the league, so Tebow will have a chance to face off against some of the best young players in the game.

General manager Sandy Alderson told Adam Rubin of ESPN the increased level of competition played a role in sending Tebow to the AFL.

“We want Tim to play in more games to continue developing his skills on the field while facing advanced competition,” GM Sandy Alderson said.

If he excels, or even just holds his own, that would be a significant victory for those hoping to see Tebow in Queens at some point in the next few seasons.

Given Tebow’s situation, there’s virtually no way to predict how he’ll perform against advanced competition. With that said, former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan made a similar transition back in 1994, and even played for the Scottsdale Scorpions, the same team Tebow will suit up for in a few days. In his brief stint with the Scorpions, Jordan hit .252.

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If Tebow can outperform that number … it ultimately means nothing. It’s fun to compare Tebow to Jordan given the similar career changes both men undertook, but there’s no reason to think they are anything alike as players. If Tebow hits better than Jordan in the AFL, it’s more of a fun fact, not a legitimate reason Tebow will be a better baseball player.

With that said, Tebow’s stats will carry some weight now. The AFL is a legitimate league that features young, talented players. If Tebow can perform well, even his biggest doubters would be forced to take notice.

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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! Follow @Chris_Cwik