It's Tebow Time. Again.
We’ve invited nine players to major league #SpringTraining including: Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Kevin Kaczmarski, Patrick Mazeika, Drew Smith, Corey Taylor, Tim Tebow, David Thompson and Adonis Uceta. #Mets— New York Mets (@Mets) January 19, 2018
Notice how Tebow just got slipped in with eight other names? But you can't hide the man, the myth, the legend himself.
Look, I've said it before, I don't care about the Tebow thing. It's not taking an opportunity from someone. No one worth evaluating is going to get overlooked because Tebow is there, boosting attendance and merchandise sales along the way. But I know people will invariably have a problem with it. I guess if you want to aggravate yourself, go right ahead!
There are a few other notable names here, including Peter Alonso, the Mets' second round pick in 2016. Alonso is a 23-year-old first baseman out of the University of Florida, and has flashed some pop in his minor league career thus far. In 2017, he posted 18 home runs, 16 of them at High A St. Lucie, and two in 11 games at Double A Binghamton.
It's worth noting that, for all the pearl clutching about blocking Dom Smith with Adrian Gonzalez, Alonso may eventually be right on Smith's tail, and I don't think the Mets mind reminding Dom of that. It's probably not a coincidence Alonso is getting an invite to Major League camp.
Also, Drew Smith was the pitcher acquired from the Rays last season for Lucas Duda. Smith was 3-2 with a 1.80 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP in 11 games for Binghamton after the Mets acquired him. As the Mets try to build a bullpen on a budget, any promising arm could turn enough heads to get an extended look.