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The Angels could have drafted Tim Tebow

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   June 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM   |   Comments

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June 18 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Angels could have drafted Tim Tebow.

"We wanted to draft him, but he never sent back his information card," said Tom Kotchman, a former Angels scout.

The team sent him a draft card in 2005, even after he quit baseball to focus on football. He hit a .494 as a junior in high school, and his team went to the final four of the state playoffs.

"Either [the card] never got to him, or ... It's Tim Tebow. Who knows if it got to him, and if it did we just never got it back," Kotchman said. "Otherwise we were going to take him."

Tebow won the Heisman Trophy during his play at the University of Florida and went on to play for the New York Jets. He had a hard time as a free agent and got no offers, save for a few AFL teams and a promotional gig for Omaha Steaks.

Tebow's strong arm could have carried him into a baseball career had he changed his mind on football early on, even though he did not play his senior year of high school.

"He had a strong arm and had a lot of power," said Red Sox scout Stephen Hargett. "He had leverage to his swing. He had some natural loft... He was a left-handed hitter with strength and some size."

Tebow has only returned to baseball to throw out the first pitch for a University of Florida baseball game.

"He bounced his first attempt and it went to the backstop," Kotchman said. "He immediately asked the catcher to get it, throw it back so he could do it again. He wanted to make sure he did it right."

Tebow eventually chose football because he "just had a bigger fire" for the sport, said Nease High School coach Greg Mullins. After his performance last season and a rocky road back into the NFL, it's hard not to wonder whether he would have better luck playing baseball.

He has recently been signed by the New England Patriots.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Tebow will be a good fit for the team.

“We want high-quality people who work hard, are team players,” Kraft said. “I don’t think there is a nicer person that I’ve ever met."

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