Tebow signed a minor league contract with the Mets in September 2016 and played at two levels of Class A ball in 2017, hitting .226 with eight home runs in 126 games. He struck out 126 times in 486 plate appearances.
Tebow, 30, is in major league spring training with the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., which was eye-opening in itself, until comments Sunday from general manager Sandy Alderson further raised eyebrows.
"We're very pleased with his progress so far," Alderson said.
"I think this experiment on his part has evolved ... into something I think much more meaningful and with somewhat greater expectations. He has been super for us in the first year-plus. He has made progress on the field. He has dedicated himself to improvement.
"Some people say, 'Well, gee, why is he in a major league camp?' Realistically, given his age and where he started, he and we need to try to accelerate the process. This experiment, if you will, is not going to last forever. We thought he would best benefit from being in a major league camp."
Alderson went on to say that Tebow would play in the majors, adding: "That's my guess, that's my hope and, to some extent now, a modest expectation."
Tebow, a left-handed hitting outfielder, spent three seasons in the NFL -- with Denver in 2010 and 2011, and with the New York Jets in 2012. He started 16 of his 35 career games, completing less than 50 percent of his passes (173 of 361) for 2,422 yards, with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 989 yards and 12 scores.
Tebow was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, when he took home the award in 2007 while at Florida.
Tebow said Sunday that he expects to show progress in baseball after a full offseason of making adjustments. He was asked about Alderson's prediction.
"For me, my goal isn't about what is going to happen one day," he said. "My goal is to focus on this day. One of the important things about being an athlete is being able to lock in and have tunnel vision."