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Moustakas selected as Final Vote candidate

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has been selected as one of the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote candidates to be voted in for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, it was announced Sunday.

Moustakas was an All-Star in 2015, when he also was voted in during the Final Vote, garnering 19.3 million votes. Voting this year ends at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday. Fans can show their support for Moustakas by tweeting with #VoteMoose, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, any tweet that includes #VoteMoose will count toward his vote total.

KANSAS CITY -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has been selected as one of the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote candidates to be voted in for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, it was announced Sunday.

Moustakas was an All-Star in 2015, when he also was voted in during the Final Vote, garnering 19.3 million votes. Voting this year ends at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday. Fans can show their support for Moustakas by tweeting with #VoteMoose, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, any tweet that includes #VoteMoose will count toward his vote total.

"It's honestly pretty cool being named to the Final five," Moustakas said. "Definitely an honor."

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Moustakas had this message for Royals fans who might be able to vote him in again: "They are the best fans in baseball," he said. "They are great fans and great people. Whether I go or don't go, that doesn't change. My career has been a rollercoaster and they've stuck with me all the way."

The other four candidates are Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus, Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius and Tampa Bay first baseman Logan Morrison.

Moustakas is hitting .270 with 22 home runs and 49 RBIs. His 22 home runs have tied a career high, and he is on pace to break the Royals' club record (36 by Steve Balboni) for home runs in a season.

Andrus is hitting .301 with 11 home runs, 49 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. The 11 home runs are a career high, and his .473 slugging percentage is also the highest of his career. He is second in the American League in stolen bases.

Seeking his first career All-Star selection, Gregorius is in his third season with the Yankees, having inherited the shortstop position from franchise legend Derek Jeter. The 27-year-old is batting .310/.333/.489 with 11 doubles, 10 home runs and 36 RBIs in 56 games, having missed the first month of the season while he recovered from a right shoulder strain.

After starting for the AL last year in his first All-Star appearance, Bogaerts is having another strong season for the Red Sox. The 24-year-old shortstop is slashing .314/.366/.455 with five homers, 39 RBIs and nine stolen bases for the AL East-leading Red Sox.

Morrison is in his eighth Major League season and has never been an All-Star. After a subpar season in 2016, Morrison was a free agent without any takers. The Rays eventually decided to sign him, and the move paid off, as the first baseman is hitting .256 with 24 homers and 57 RBIs.

Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.

Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.

On Tuesday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Mike Moustakas