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Mets promote Jeff McNeil and Phillip Evans, designate Ty Kelly for assignment

McNeil has been one of the most productive offensive players in the Mets’ minor league system this year.

The Mets have called up Jeff McNeil and Phillip Evans from Triple-A and have designated Ty Kelly for assignment. With the San Diego Padres starting a lefty tonight, Mickey Callaway is opting to start Evans at third base.

McNeil, who was picked by the Mets in the 12th round of the 2013 draft, began the year in Double-A Binghamton. The 26-year-old hit .327/.402/.626 with 14 home runs in 214 at-bats before his promotion to Triple-A on June 14. He continued his offensive onslaught in Las Vegas, hitting .368/.427/.600 in 125 at-bats and was riding a seven-game hitting streak before getting called up. He has a combined 1.028 OPS in the minor leagues this year.

With the season all but over for the Mets and an offense that ranks towards the bottom of the league, there has been a lot of talk about McNeil getting a shot at the big league level. Although second base is his primary position, he’s spent time at third base and left field while with Vegas, and he’s also appeared at first base, shortstop, center field, and right field during his minor league career. Joel Sherman added that McNeil will likely be used to play some third base, although an eventual Asdrubal Cabrera trade could open up second base for him.

Evans returns to the Mets after he had one hit in nine major league at-bats earlier in the season. In 245 bats in Las Vegas, Evans was hitting .256 with an .820 OPS. He replaces Kelly, who collected one hit in 11 at-bats for the Mets before being DFA’d.