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Conforto headed to All-Star Game

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Michael Conforto was working on breakfast in the Mets' clubhouse Sunday morning when manager Terry Collins approached him, telling Conforto he wanted to see him in his office. This must be something about his injury rehab schedule, Conforto figured. He followed.

Once in private, Collins told Conforto that he will be the Mets' lone representative at the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami, his peers selecting him to the roster via player vote.

NEW YORK -- Michael Conforto was working on breakfast in the Mets' clubhouse Sunday morning when manager Terry Collins approached him, telling Conforto he wanted to see him in his office. This must be something about his injury rehab schedule, Conforto figured. He followed.

Once in private, Collins told Conforto that he will be the Mets' lone representative at the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami, his peers selecting him to the roster via player vote.

"It's a dream come true," Conforto said. "It was a pretty cool moment for me this morning finding out. A lot of hard work went into it."

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

Forget the All-Star Game; heading into Spring Training, Conforto was a long shot simply to make the team. Only an injury to Juan Lagares in the final days of camp cleared space for Conforto, who mostly sat on the bench in April.

But when Yoenis Cespedes' injury gave him a chance to play every day, Conforto responded, batting .321 with 11 homers in a 35-game stretch from April 20 through the end of May. Conforto versus Aaron Judge became a popular debate in New York baseball circles, each young star anchoring a team in neighboring boroughs.

Overall this season, Conforto is batting .285 with 14 home runs in 69 games. Though he is currently on the disabled list with a bruised left hand, he expects to return to the Mets two days prior to the All-Star break. So long as Conforto does not suffer a setback, he will be eligible to play in the game.

Video: Michael Conforto is going to the 2017 All-Star Game

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.

The fact that Conforto will take part in those festivities is a dream the Mets envisioned when they drafted him 10th overall in 2014. A star at Oregon State University, Conforto made the Majors one year later, but slumped enough in his sophomore season to earn a Minor League demotion. By February, he found himself squeezed from a crowded outfield that also included Cespedes, Jay Bruce -- another All-Star candidate who fell short of making the team -- and Curtis Granderson.

Conforto attributes his success in spite of that situation to nothing more than good old-fashioned hard work.

"I always had a feeling even if I didn't start with the team, I knew I was going to be able to make an impact at some point," Conforto said. "I guess that makes it a little more special."

In addition to playing alongside his peers in Miami, Conforto will join his family -- including his mother Tracie, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in synchronized swimming -- and friends for many of the festivities.

"It's going to be pretty special," Conforto said. "I'm definitely excited to go to Miami."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

New York Mets, Michael Conforto