NFL quarterback-turned-Mets outfield prospect Tim Tebow smacked his third home run of the season for the low Class A Columbia Fireflies. It was Tebow's first home run since April 9, the third game of the season.

The 29-year-old Tebow went 2 for 4 with the home run, a double and two strikeouts, giving him a .230/.319/.369 batting line in 138 plate appearances. He has also struck out 37 times. Not good numbers overall, but considering he hadn't played baseball competitively since high school, it's pretty impressive.

A few weeks ago we heard the Mets are considering a promotion for Tebow, though a decision is not imminent. They could wait a few more weeks to find his bearings before moving him up another level. On merit, no, Tebow does not deserve a promotion. He hasn't performed well enough to justify one.

Could the Mets promote Tim Tebow soon? You bet. USATSI

Performance really has very little to do with it, however. Tebow is not your normal minor-league prospect. The Mets could promote him to high Class A soon, and here's why: money. It really is that simple. Tebow has provided a huge boost to ticket and merchandise sales. Fans want to see the guy play. From J.J. Cooper of Baseball America:

Based on the April attendance data, the Tebow effect appears to be roughly 2,210 fans per night. Minor league teams estimate that the average fan will spend $20 per person if they come to the ballpark. That counts ticket sales, concessions and souvenirs. So Tebow is worth roughly an additional $44,200 per night.

Right now, the Mets do not benefit directly from Tebow's popularity. They do not own the Columbia Fireflies. They do own the St. Lucie Mets, however, their high Class A affiliate. That's the next level for Tebow. A promotion to St. Lucie means all that extra ticket and merchandise revenue goes directly into the Mets' pockets. That will be the driving force behind a Tebow promotion, not his performance.

For that same reason, it wouldn't shock me if the Mets gave Tebow a September call-up, especially if they continue to struggle. Sunday's loss to the Angels (LAA 12, NY 5) dropped the Mets to 18-24 on the season. They're 7 1/2 games back of the Nationals in the NL East and 6 1/2 games back of a wild-card spot. There is still plenty of season remaining, of course, but the Mets have dug an early hole.

If the Mets are out of the race, a late-season Tebow call-up would give an otherwise uninteresting team some juice, and also benefit the club financially. Tebow wouldn't have to be up for all of September, of course. They could call him up for the final homestand or something like that. I'm not saying it will definitely happen. Just don't be completely surprised if it does, especially if the Mets fall out of the race and have an open 40-man roster spot.