Gators in Pro Baseball: Tebow showing real improvement

Tim Tebow, playing for the Binghamton Ruble Ponies, prepares to bat in the first inning against the Portland Sea Dogs in a Double-A baseball game in Binghamton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Matt Smith)

By Kyle Bennett and Aaron Brand

Rumble Ponies right fielder Timothy R. Tebow has been showing serious signs of improvement in June. His batting average jumped up 18 percentage points this month and he’s now hitting .304 for the month. For comparison, his average dipped five percentage points through June of last season in a lower league. He has a home run and five doubles this month to go along with his improved average and knocked in two RBIs on two doubles on Tuesday in a game where he was 2-for-4. He’s also not striking out as much. The lefty has gone from striking out every 2.5 plate appearances to every 3.8, which is significant, because it shows he is seeing the ball more clearly. And just this Friday, Tebow was 2-for-3 with a home run.

MLB players

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP) — Cincinnati Reds

It’s unusual for a pitcher to be responsible for driving in more runs than he allows in a game. It’s even more unusual when that pitcher allows multiple runs. But Anthony DeSclafani, who made his fourth start since returning from the DL, held the Chicago Cubs to two runs over 6 ⅓ innings. Perhaps most impressive — he launched a grand slam in the third inning.

“I wasn’t in swing mode at first,” he told “I was going to maybe try and foul something off or try to look for a pitch. … I just said screw this: Grip and rip. If it’s a fastball, try to get the head out and square it up.”

On the mound, the right-handed pitcher/slugger threw 55 of his 97 pitches for strikes, racking up three Ks and scattering four walks and three hits. The start was Disco’s longest of the season and earned him his first quality start since 2016.

Harrison Bader (OF) — St. Louis Cardinals

Bader went 1-for-7 this week, dropping his batting average to .188 for the month of June. The second-year Cardinal still has yet to register an RBI this month but is still getting the majority of the starts in right field over Dexter Fowler.

Brian Johnson (RHP) — Boston

Johnson made two appearances in relief duty for the Red Sox this week. He totaled 73 pitches in 3 ⅔ innings and gave up one run on five hits with five Ks and a walk.

Darren O’Day (RHP) — Baltimore Orioles

O’Day made a pair of appearances in relief duty for the Orioles this week. He totaled 42 pitches in 2 ⅔ innings and gave up two hits with four Ks and a walk. The veteran right hander was unavailable on Tuesday because of a hamstring issue but was good to go after that. O’Day could potentially face long-time teammate and friend Ryan Flaherty (now on Atlanta) as the Orioles will finish up their series against the Braves today. The scenario could’ve happened on Friday in the first game of the series but O’s manager Buck Showalter elected to intentionally walk Flaherty instead of have O’Day pitch to him.

Preston Tucker (LF) — Atlanta Braves

Tucker was optioned to Triple-A on Saturday. The outfielder only appeared in one game this week, going 0-for-1 in a pinch hit appearance in the Braves’ 15-inning loss to the Orioles Friday.

Mike Zunino (C) — Seattle Mariners

Mariners catcher Mike Zunino has gotten a hit just once in his last five games and did not start Saturday for Seattle, which have dropped four straight. The former Gator backstop is batting .182 in June and is hitting .198 overall with a disappointing .260 on-base percentage to boot. Not to mention his strikeout percentage is a whopping 43 percent on the year.

MiLB Players

Peter Alonso (1B) — Las Vegas 51s (New York Mets Triple-A)

Alonso went 4-for-14 this week, collecting a double and three RBIs. Since being called up to Triple-A, the first baseman has hit safely in five of six games. He’s batting .273, but more importantly he holds a .407 on-base percentage, drawing five walks, including four this week.

Shaun Anderson (RHP) — Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants Double-A)

Anderson gave up five runs on 11 hits with six Ks in his only start of the week on Wednesday. The loss marked the fifth game in a row Anderson did not earn a win for the Flying Squirrels. His ERA is now 3.45, its highest all season

Kevin Chapman (LHP) — Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers Triple-A)

Chapman has now given up runs in three of his last four relief appearances. On Thursday, the lefty came in for one inning and gave up two runs on two hits and failed to strike anyone out.

Jonathon Crawford (RHP) — Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati Reds Class A Advanced)

Crawford remains on the disabled list and hasn’t been active all season. He was taken 12 spots ahead of Aaron Judge in the 2013 MLB Draft.

Matt den Dekker (LF) — Las Vegas 51s (New York Mets Triple-A)

The center fielder has been on the DL since June 6. He’s hitting .285 with eight homers and five steals at Triple-A this season.

Dane Dunning (RHP) — Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox Double-A)

Dunning made a start Saturday evening for the Barons but was pulled after injuring his elbow. That isn’t what White Sox fans wanted to hear during a season that has been long enough already. An elbow injury is obviously never a good sign for a pitcher and fans of Dunning and the Sox should hope it doesn’t require Tommy John Surgery. Dunning was 6-3 going into Saturday night’s start.

Alex Faedo (RHP) — Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers Double-A)

Faedo was called up to Double-A last Sunday and started Tuesday’s game. The right hander went six innings, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks. He struck out seven but was unable to earn the win.

Nolan Fontana (SS) — Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels Triple-A)

Fontana has gone 3-for-16 (all singles) since being optioned back to Triple-A.

Daniel Gibson (LHP) — Jackson Generals (Arizona Diamondbacks Double-A)

Gibson’s sheet had been pretty spotless up until his appearance Friday where gave up two runs on four hits and plunked a batter in one inning of work against Pensacola. Previously, the lefty had only allowed three hits and three walks in nine innings this season and his ERA now sits at 1.80 where was once at 0.00.

Taylor Gushue (C) — Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals Double-A)

Gushue had an RBI-double on Wednesday against the Bowie BaySox and had a sac-fly RBI on Friday but has gone just 1-for-13 this week. His average is now at .238.

Dalton Guthrie (SS) — Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies Class A)

Guthrie remains on the 7-day DL and hasn’t played since June 10.

Eric Hanhold (RHP) — Las Vegas 51s — (New York Mets Triple-A)

Hanhold remains on the 7-day DL and hasn’t played since June 17.

Mark Kolozsvary (C) — Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds Class A)

Kolozsvary went 1-for-7 this week with a double. The catcher is hitting .209 with one home run, 12 RBIs and 41 strike outs.

Taylor Lewis (RHP) — Free agent

Austin Maddox (RHP) — Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox Triple-A)

Maddox was pulled from his rehab start in Triple-A on June 5 with shoulder inflammation but it hoping to resume throwing again soon. His timetable for a return is still up in the air.

Johnny Magliozzi (RHP) — Free agent

Richie Martin (SS) — Midland RockHounds (Oakland A’s Double-A)

Martin went 6-for-22 with three doubles and four RBIs this week, He’s hitting .316, good for seventh-best in the Texas League.

Scott Moss (LHP) — Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati Reds Class A Advanced)

Moss (7-2) earned another win Saturday as he gave up just one earned run on seven hits with two Ks. His ERA stands at 4.20.

Bobby Poyner (LHP) — Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox Triple-A)

Poyner came in and got two crucial outs for Pawtucket on Thursday, including a strikeout, but he also walked a batter.

A.J. Puk (LHP) — Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics Class-A Advanced)

Puk underwent Tommy John surgery and is out for the rest of the season.

Ryan Raburn (OF) — Free agent

Buddy Reed (LF) — Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego Padres Class A Advanced)

Reed made the California League’s South all-star team. After the game Tuesday, he went on to hit 5-for-10 and racked up 11 total bases in two starts the rest of the week. The second-round pick hit his 10th home run and leads the league in average (.333), hits (88), total bases (145) and stolen bases (32).

Mike Rivera (C) — Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians Class A)

Rivera was placed on the DL June 12.

Paco Rodriguez (LHP) — Chattanooga Lookouts (Minnesota Twins Double-A)

Rodriguez made one appearance this week, throwing one inning and allowing one hit with a K. The lefty’s ERA at Double-A is still a less-than-impressive 4.63, but he’s allowed just one run over his last six appearances (10 ⅔ innings) since getting hammered for five earned in his debut with the Lookouts.

Frank Rubio (RHP) — San Jose Giants (San Francisco Giants Class A Advanced)

Rubio was assigned to Class A Advanced San Jose last Sunday and pitched two innings Thursday, allowing two hits with two strikeouts, locating 22 of his 31 pitches for strikes.

Justin Shafer (RHP) — Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A)

Shafer has not made an appearance this week but holds a 1.35 ERA for the year.

Logan Shore (RHP) — Midland RockHounds (Oakland A’s Double-A)

Shore started Thursday and allowed three earned across 5 ⅓ innings. The right hander allowed five hits and two walks while striking out three. He’s got a 5.66 ERA and hasn’t had a quality since a string of three straight ending May 18.

Kirby Snead (LHP) — New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A)

Snead walked a batter and struck out another in his only inning pitched this week, earning his first save in three attempts at Double-A.

Josh Tobias (2B) — Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox Double-A)

Tobias remains on the DL and hasn’t played since May 29.

Casey Turgeon (3B) — Free agent

Danny Young (LHP) — New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A)

Young came in for a save opportunity but was thwarted for a run on three hits, but he did have three Ks through the two innings he worked.