WASHINGTON -- One can argue that shortstop Ian Desmond is the best player on the Nationals this season. Besides playing outstanding defense, he leads Washington in home runs and RBIs. It helped that he had a hot month of June in which he drove in 28 runs. That explains why Desmond is in the 2013 Final Vote for the All-Star Game.


At the final update on Thursday morning, Desmond remained in fourth, trailing Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Giants outfielder Hunter Pence. Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez sits in fifth.

Now in its 12th year, the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com gives baseball fans around the world the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team. Balloting began immediately following Saturday's Major League All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell and ends today at 4 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced on MLB.com shortly thereafter.

For the second consecutive year, the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com (#FinalVote) will include a social balloting element as Twitter support from the candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET today, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the overall vote total used to determine the American League and National League winners. Fans may follow @MLB on the popular social networking service for the latest standings updates in advance of the 4 p.m. ET balloting deadline.

To cast a vote for Desmond, be sure to include #DesiIn13 in your tweet.

Mobile voting in the U.S. and Canada is open to everyone. In the U.S., to receive the 2013 All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Desmond, simply text message N1 to 89269. In Canada, fans should text N1 to 101010. Standard message and data rates may apply. To vote for another player via text message, use the codes below.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

A1 -- Joaquin Benoit, Detroit, #BackBenoit
A2 -- Steve Delabar, Toronto, #RaiseTheBar
A3 -- David Robertson, New York Yankees, #HighSocksForVotes
A4 -- Tanner Scheppers, Texas, #TakeTanner
A5 -- Koji Uehara, Boston, #HighFiveCiti

NATIONAL LEAGUE

N1 -- Ian Desmond, Washington, #DesiIn13
N2 -- Freddie Freeman, Atlanta, #Vote Freddie
N3 -- Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles, #VoteTitan
N4 -- Hunter Pence, San Francisco, #VotePence
N5 -- Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles, #VotePuig

Where are votes coming from? Which candidate is carrying your local area? Which state will play a key role in determining the final player on each All-Star Game roster? Use MLB.com's new online Final Vote data visualization map to see the geographic distribution of all of the candidates' votes. Scroll over any county in the 50 United States to see the color-coded display to show the online vote share for each player.

"It's great. It's an honor to be mentioned. I'm obviously not in," Desmond said. "To be thought of, it's good. I've come a long way since I came into the big leagues."

Although Desmond has better numbers than a lot of shortstops this year, teammate Ryan Zimmerman appeared to be stunned that Desmond wasn't on the team.

Zimmerman is hoping Desmond will get in if an injury prevents Rockies All-Star Troy Tulowitzki from playing in the game.

NL Candidates BY THE NUMBERS
Candidate AVG HR RBI SB OPS
Desmond .280 15 49 10 .822
Freeman .307 9 56 0 .858
Gonzalez .300 14 58 0 .842
Pence .264 13 43 13 .759
Puig .394 8 19 5 1.061
* Stats entering July 11

"Hopefully, Desi would get in there. There aren't too many better at the position than he is," Zimmerman said.

After talking to teammate Tyler Clippard, one gets the impression that Desmond could be another Derek Jeter. Clippard played with Jeter in 2007.

"He is the cornerstone of our infield. He plays one of the most important positions on the field," Clippard said. "Most importantly, he wants to be a leader. He has portrayed that in the way he has played on the field and the stuff that he is doing off the field.

"He works hard. He potential is tremendous. I think he can be a great player in this game. I see a lot of similarities in him as I do to a guy like Jeter. That says a lot to the type of player that Ian is. I'm not saying he is going to be a Jeter, but there is some similarities there."

When told he was facing Puig in the Final Vote, Desmond said, "It's not looking too good."

There will be an extra treat for fans who participate in the Final Vote online. If you are not a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you are eligible to receive a 14-day free trial of MLB.TV from July 12-26. If you are a current MLB.TV subscriber (MLB.TV or MLB.TV Premium), you will receive a 15-percent discount to the MLB.com Shop. MLB.com will send an email on July 12 to all Final Vote voters with instructions on how to redeem the applicable offer.