Tim Tebow took the next step in his so-called baseball career Monday when he reported to New York Mets spring training in Florida.

And he did so a week early.

The former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback signed with the Mets late last year and hit the diamond for instructional league and winter ball play. The early results weren’t particularly promising.

Tebow didn’t get an invite to the Mets’ big league spring camp, but Mets manager Terry Collins expects Tebow will get at least a few at-bats with the big club.

“I think when they tell me that Tim has some at-bats and he’s comfortable at the plate and comfortable with what he’s doing, I’ll get him over here,” Collins told reporters, per USA TODAY.

Tebow certainly didn’t downplay the difficulty of trying to play baseball, but he also is embracing the challenge.

“I don’t think it’s a bigger challenge than I thought,’’ Tebow told reporters Monday at a press conference, according to USA TODAY. “You’re picking up a sport 12 years after not playing. Part of the challenge is why it’s so fun, and why it’s something I’m enjoying and loving. Hitting a baseball is the hardest thing in sports.’’

The transition wasn’t easy for Tebow, whose return to baseball was his first competitive hardball action in more than a decade. Tebow hit just .194 in 19 Arizona Fall League games, striking out almost once every three at-bats.

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images