Gardner an All-Star Final Vote candidate

Gardner an All-Star Final Vote candidate

Brett Gardner has been among the American League's top offensive performers for a good stretch of the first half, and the Yankees' outfielder is hoping to ride that hot streak into his first career appearance in the Midsummer Classic next week at the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile.

Cast your Esurance Final Vote for Gardner

Gardner will need some additional help to punch a ticket to Cincinnati and join Dellin Betances and Mark Teixeira at next week's Midsummer Classic, though, as he currently stands as one of the five American League Final Vote candidates.

"Gardy has turned himself into a dynamic all-around player," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He has also evolved into one of the true leaders in our clubhouse. He's a tremendous outfielder and an offensive force who can affect the outcome of a game in so many ways."

Gardner, 31, is batting .297 with a .373 on-base percentage and a .481 slugging percentage in 76 games. His resulting .854 OPS ranks fifth among AL outfielders.

Gardner has scored 60 runs -- good for third in the AL, and tied with Mike Trout for most among AL outfielders -- while legging out 21 doubles and three triples. He's also slugged nine homers and driven in 39 runs while ranking fourth in the AL with 15 stolen bases in 18 attempts.

"I know Yankees fans gravitate toward the way he plays the game, because he plays it with a great deal of grit and determination," Girardi said. "It's my hope that we can all rally behind him and give him the opportunity to play in his first All-Star Game. It's hard not to root for a guy like Gardy."

In addition to serving as a spark plug atop the lineup while Jacoby Ellsbury has been on the disabled list with a knee injury, Gardner has contributed plus defense in both left and center field.

Teixeira, Betances named to AL All-Star team

"I hope our fans get behind Brett Gardner in the online final vote," Betances said. "He's a big reason for the success we've had this year, and I believe he should be an All-Star."

Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.

During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13.The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m.ET.

The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.