JUPITER, Fla. -- Once a punchline, Tim Tebow continues to demonstrate legitimate improvement during steady opportunities in big league camp. Borrowed from the Minors again on Saturday, Tebow drove a 95-mph Michael Wacha fastball to left field for a single in his first at-bat in the Mets' 5-4 win against the Cardinals, giving him four hits in his last eight Grapefruit League plate appearances.
Tebow went on to finish 1-for-3 with a strikeout, leaving his first at-bat as the highlight. Quickly falling into an 0-2 count against Wacha, a 2015 National League All-Star, the former NFL quarterback fought off an 88-mph changeup, fouling it to the left side. Tebow then drilled a four-seamer through the hole between shortstop and third base.
"He's worked very hard," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We're here to help. That's what we're here for. We're here to help him try to get better."
Twice this month, Collins indicated the Mets were done using Tebow in Grapefruit League games, only to bring him back into the clubhouse shortly thereafter. Following Saturday's game, Collins admitted he's "hoping" to borrow Tebow from Minor League camp two or three more times before the end of Spring Training. Brandon Nimmo's lingering quad issue has given the Mets at least some measure of additional need in the outfield.
But most days, Tebow will continue to play in Minor League games. He is likely to start the regular season at one of the Mets' Class A affiliates.
"Being around these guys at this level, he can see what it is to be a big league player," Collins said. "He can hopefully carry that into wherever he's going to start the year."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.