Royals slugger among 8 participants in July 10 event at Marlins Park
By Doug Miller
SEATTLE -- Mike Moustakas has already eclipsed a single-season career-high total in home runs and set a Royals record. Now he'll get a chance to put that thunderous swing on display during All-Star Week.
The Royals' third baseman on Monday was named as one of the eight participants in this year's T-Mobile Home Run Derby, which will be contested next Monday (at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN) at Marlins Park in Miami, the site of next Tuesday's 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.
"I'm really excited," said Moustakas, who is also one of five Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote candidates. "It's going to be an awesome experience, that's for sure. I've never actually been to Miami, so I'm pretty excited to go there, check it out, and have a good time and definitely have some fun in the Home Run Derby. Just being able to compete against those guys is going to be awesome."
Moustakas homered in his first at-bat on Monday night in a 3-1 win over Seattle and has 23 home runs this season, the most he's had in an entire year in his big league career. He also set the Royals record for round-trippers prior to the All-Star break. He and Jermaine Dye (22 in 2000) were tied heading into Monday. Moustakas is on pace to topple the franchise mark of 36 homers in a season set by Steve Balboni in 1985.
Moustakas said he was pondering the invitation to the Derby and talked it over with his wife and family before taking it to the Royals' clubhouse.
"Everyone seemed pretty excited for me to do it," Moustakas said. "And I was definitely pretty excited."
So is his manager, Ned Yost.
"The Home Run Derby's tough," Yost said. "I've seen it enough in person to know it's tough. But he's got a great chance."
Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, club sites and their mobile devices until 3 p.m. CT 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 9 a.m.-3 p.m. CT 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 6:30 p.m. CT, 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.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.