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Tebow's personal hitting coach on MLB chances: 'I would never doubt that guy'

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 2/17/2019 Jimmy Hascup
a group of people looking at a cell phone: New York Mets outfielder Tim Tebow signs autographs at spring training. © Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC New York Mets outfielder Tim Tebow signs autographs at spring training.

When Tim Tebow signed with the New York Mets in September 2016, he seemed like a longshot to even make it past instructional league.

Fast-forward to February 2019 and Tebow, likely to start in Class AAA, is one step away from making the major leagues.

And his personal hitting coach, former MLB outfielder Jay Gibbons, is not surprised at all. 

“You’re talking about a guy where what we’re trying to do is very difficult to do — nearly impossible. For him to do what he’s done already, to me, is an amazing thing,” Gibbons told The Athletic. “I’m not the guy that’s going to doubt Tim Tebow, with his heart and his drive. I would never doubt that guy.”

Gibbons, who hit .260 with 127 home runs in his nine-year career, began working with Tebow at the end of the 2017 season. He called Tebow’s swing “concerning” when he first saw it, saying he tried to “muscle everything.”

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The 31-year-old Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, spent last season with Class AA Binghamton, hitting .273 with six home runs and a .734 on-base plus slugging percentage in 84 games.

But Tebow has taken this baseball thing so seriously that he has flown Gibbons around the country in the offseason so that he can hit even during times he’s working for ESPN and SEC Network, according to The Athletic. The two were even spotted by ESPN cameras at the Sugar Bowl with Tebow mimicking a swing.

Gibbons said Tebow’s athleticism and hand speed give him the ability to be a good hitter if he can hone the mechanics.

“Pretty much halfway through the season last year, we just needed to simplify it,” said Gibbons. “We just need to let him use his athletic ability and keep his feet on the ground. For me, when I teach hitting, I want a guy to be grounded. That’s the most important thing. Get into his legs. You see how big he is, so allow him to use his legs instead of being in the air and out in front. Once we got his base better, everything started syncing up with his upper body.”

Tebow is likely to get major league at-bats in spring training, and it seems like a matter of time for his regular-season debut. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tim Tebow's personal hitting coach on MLB chances: 'I would never doubt that guy'

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