Tim Tebow has already become the LEADER of his minor league baseball team ... so says the manager of the Columbia Fireflies, Jose Leger.

We spoke to the skipper of the NY Mets Class A affiliate and he was raving about Tebow -- even though Tim's only played 5 games with the team.


"He's the leader on the team already," Leger says ... telling TMZ Sports the guy's work ethic has blown everyone away.

"He outworks anybody that we have out here."

Tebow already has 2 home runs and 5 RBIs in 20 at-bats with the team ... and Leger says he's got the power to make it in the pros.

Stay tuned ...