-- The New York Mets again have formally invited Tim Tebow to join the team for spring training in St. Lucie, Florida, it was announced Friday.
The former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner spent 2017 in the Mets' minor league system, batting .226 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs in 126 games. He started the season at Columbia,?South Carolina, in the South Atlantic League and was promoted to the Florida State League to play for Class A St. Lucie in late June.
Tebow, 30, an ESPN college football analyst, batted .317 over his first 25 games for St. Lucie and had a 12-game hitting streak while playing outfield and as a designated hitter.
He participated in spring training with the Mets in St. Lucie last year,?going 4-for-27 (.148) with no extra-base hits, one walk and eight strikeouts in nine games.
Tebow, who led Florida to a pair of college football titles before playing for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets, said in August that he considered his first professional baseball season a good learning experience and was interested in returning to the club in 2018.
"In looking back, there's a lot of ups and downs, a lot of learning moments," Tebow said then. "Almost every day there's something that I've never been through before that I'm learning."
St. Lucie benefited from swelling attendance, drawing more than 122,000 fans last season to set a home season-attendance record.