August 19, 2016

IT'S HAPPENING:

FACING TIM TEBOW (David Aardsma  Aug 19, 2016, Baseball Essential)

I heard last week, just like the rest of the sports world, about Tim Tebow's desire to play in Major League Baseball. And when I heard the familiar name of my friend and former big leaguer Chad Moeller, I immediately texted him and offered my services to him as a pitcher. Thankfully, I wasn't ignored, even though Chad was getting calls from anybody and everybody wanting a piece of Tim, and we scheduled a time for me to come out and face Tebow.

I had recently stopped throwing to begin my offseason training and prepare for the 2017 season, but now I had to ramp it back up. Luckily, I hadn't taken too much time off throwing, and I was able to get back into the swing of things pretty quickly. [...]

 I had been looking forward to this moment for a week, and I was as ready as I could be for it. I had gotten all warmed up and Tebow stepped into the box. The first thing I noticed was that it felt like he was right on top of the plate. He is a huge guy, and it almost looked like he was crowding the plate. Usually only little lefties who want to get on base crowd the plate, but having someone as big as Tebow that close made me take notice. By doing this, he essentially took the entire inside half of the plate from me. His stance is pretty spread out, but he uses his back leg extremely well to create power in his swing.

I faced Tim for about five different at-bats, and each time we treated it just like a game, with the catcher was calling strikes and balls. Overall, I was actually really happy with how I threw. I was sitting in the low 90s and attacking the zone with all my pitches.

Watching Tim from my standpoint, I was really impressed with his approach at the plate. For not playing the game in over a decade, he had very good plate discipline and very rarely swung at pitches off the plate. He actually started working the count against me. I was expecting him to be coming out of his shoes almost every pitch, but Tim was very controlled with every swing and every at-bat. He let go only when the count allowed him to, and he stayed grounded when he was behind in the count.

One of the most impressive things I saw -- and you rarely see this in "young" or "new to the game" players -- is that even when Tebow swung and missed, he was right on the ball. He rarely got fooled by any pitch, and his adjustments were remarkable.

Posted by at August 19, 2016 9:55 AM

  

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