Mets' Tim Tebow to play for Philippines in World Baseball Classic qualifiers

Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and current New York Mets outfield prospect Tim Tebow will play for the Philippines in next month's World Baseball Classic qualifiers.

Tebow's parents were missionaries in the Philippines when he was born in August 1987.


"Grateful and excited to play for Team Philippines in the [World Baseball Classic]...the country I was born in and somewhere that is near and dear to my heart!" Tebow wrote Wednesday on Twitter.

The Philippines are one of four countries competing for a spot in the World Baseball Classic. The Philippines are in Pool 2 of the WBC, along with the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Panama and New Zealand.

The Philippines will play the Czech Republic on March 20 in Tucson, Ariz. They failed to qualify for the main tournament in both 2013 and 2017.

Tebow, who also serves as a college football analyst for the SEC Network, is entering his fourth full minor league season in the Mets organization. In 287 career games, he has a .223 batting average with 18 homers, 107 RBIs and 327 strikeouts.

Tebow, 32, recorded a .163 batting average with four home runs and 19 RBIs last season at Triple-A Syracuse. He struck out 98 times across 77 games.

The United States, which won the last World Baseball Classic in 2017, is an automatic qualifier for the tournament.

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