Tim Tebow Proving Better at Baseball Than Michael Jordan

Former football player is heating up in the Mets minor league system.

Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets works out at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 19, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

In 1993, the best basketball player, Michael Jordan, retired. In 1994, he decided to try his hand at baseball.

Jordan played one season with the White Sox’ Double A affiliate, the Birmingham Barons—but was back on the basketball court within a year. All that athletic talent didn’t translate from one sport to the next.

Now, Tim Tebow, the Heisman Trophy-and national title-winning quarterback from Florida, is trying a similar transition onto the baseball diamond. Tebow, a hero to many evangelicals, was drafted by the Broncos in 2010 and had a nice playoff run for his team, but his weak arm doomed him to the sidelines within a few season. After washing out with the Jets, he left the gridiron for he broadcast booth… until he was signed by the Mets last September.

He had an inauspicious start, and the Mets were criticized for moving him up to a higher level. But recently, Tebow has started driving the ball out of the park to silence his critics.

During his stint as a baseball player, Jordan hit three home runs in all of ’94. In late June, Tebow hit his fourth homer, and in July, he even added a walk-off dinger. As SB Nation states that makes Tebow a better hitter than Jordan ever was—though the latter played two levels higher in the minors. However, Dan Szymborski ran the numbers just for fun.

Jordan has 497 plate appearances, which translated to .188/.262/.247, good for an OPS of 509. This would have been unacceptable in the majors, since dating back to 1985 there has not been a single major leaguer who’s had an OPS that low and stayed in the league long enough to get to 2,000 plate appearances.

Tebow, meanwhile, has 190/.264/310, suggesting a major league OPS of 574. Since then, he did notch a 912 OPS in his first 51 plate appearances at High-A.

So what’s the main difference between them? Tebow is more powerful. This physically makes sense if you look at their builds. Tebow is 6’3″, 255 pounds while Jordan was 6’6″ and 205 pounds. While both of the men are technically bad hitters from a mechanics standpoint, according to SB Nation, Tebow’s extra strength probably helps him out a bit more.

But if we added in defense, Jordan would make up some ground. Jordan’s explosiveness was legendary. He played the outfield and probably did a lot better than Tebow. In 1994, Jordan made 11 errors in the 119 games against just six outfield assists. Tebow so far has eight errors in much less time, against just one assist.

Now, let the debate start as to which would’ve been a better football player.

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