The New York Mets announced on July 24 that they have selected the contracts of infielder Jeff McNeil and infielder/outfielder Phillip Evans from Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League, placed outfielder Yoenis Céspedes on the 10-Day Disabled List and designated infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly for assignment. McNeil will wear #68 and Evans will wear #28. McNeil’s first appearance will be his major league debut.
McNeil, 26, was batting .342 (116-339) with 26 doubles, five triples, 19 home runs, 71 RBI, 72 runs scored, a .411 OBP, a 617 slugging percentage and a 1.028 OPS in 88 combined games between Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League and Las Vegas. His 1.028 OPS was fifth-highest among all full-season minor league players while his .617 slugging percentage was third-best among full-season minor leaguers. His 71 RBI were 15th-most in the minors.
The California native began the season with Binghamton and hit .327 (70-214) with 16 doubles, 14 home runs and 43 RBI in 57 games for the Rumble Ponies. At the time of his promotion, McNeil ranked among the Eastern League leaders in home runs (14, second), RBI (43, sixth), average (.327, fifth), slugging percentage (.626, second), on-base percentage (.402, sixth), runs (49, second) and doubles (16, tied for sixth).
After being promoted to Las Vegas, McNeil hit .368 (46-125) with 10 doubles, two triples, five homers, 28 RBI and a 1.027 OPS in 31 games for the 51s. His run with Vegas included an 18-game hitting streak from June 18-July 6 during which he batted .421 (32-76) with 13 extra-base hits, 20 RBI and 15 runs scored. McNeil had hit safely in each of his last seven games with Vegas prior to his promotion and in 28 of 31 games overall with Vegas.
The 6-1, 195-pound McNeil was the Mets’ 12th-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Long Beach State University.
In six minor league seasons, McNeil hit .311 (502-1513) with 94 doubles, 17 triples, 28 home runs, 203 RBI, a .380 OBP, a .443 slugging percentage and an .823 OPS.
Evans, 25, joins the Mets for a fourth time this season after making the club’s Opening Day roster out of Spring Training. He was with the Mets from Opening Day-April 5, May 16-22, and May 28-30. In seven games with the Mets this season, Evans is hitting .111 (1-9). In 26 career major league games, all with the Mets, Evans is hitting .262 (11-42).
In 62 games with Las Vegas this year, Evans was hitting .256 (56-219) with eight doubles, a career-best 14 home runs and 39 RBI. In 10 games this month, Evans hit .325 (13-40) with two home runs and nine RBI.
Céspedes is hitting .262 (37-141) with nine home runs, 29 RBI and 20 runs scored in 38 games for the Mets this season. Kelly appeared in nine games with the Mets this year and went 1-11.
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