Buck, Teahen need help in ASG vote
Both players worthy of AL All-Star consideration
KANSAS CITY -- The American League's top slugging catcher and best clutch-hitting outfielder are still not receiving many votes from fans in the latest American League All-Star balloting. Fans, though, will now have to vote online to help out the Royals. In-stadium balloting closed at Kauffman Stadium on June 17.
The 78th All-Star Game will be played in San Francisco on July 10th.
No Royal player ranked in the top five at any infield position or in the top 15 among outfielders. Two, though, definitely deserve consideration for a spot.
Even though he is hitting better than several catchers that rank among the leading vote-getters, catcher John Buck doesn't even rank in the top five among American League backstops, spots that belong to Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez, New York's Jorge Posada, Boston's Jason Varitek, Minnesota's Joe Mauer and Cleveland's Victor Martinez.
Buck leads all American League catchers -- a crop considered far stronger than its National League counterparts -- with a .576 slugging percentage and ranks second in on-base percentage plus slugging percentage (.934).
His 13 homers equal the number of long balls that Martinez has hit. Buck has also called a strong game behind the plate, catching every one of ace Gil Meche's starts, which have yielded a solid season for the Royals' ace.
Mark Teahen has posted a bevy of impressive statistics in his first season as the Royals right fielder. The most startling, though, is his incredible hitting in the most important situations -- with runners in scoring position.
Teahen's line of .387/.513/.629 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) yields a 1.142 OPS, the best of any AL outfielder in clutch situations, topping several likely All-Stars, including the Angels' Vladimir Guerrero, Tigers' Magglio Ordonez and Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki.
Teahen also ranks eighth in overall on-base percentage (.371), ninth in walks (31), 12th in OPS (.799) and 15th in RBI (36) among AL outfielders. Teahen is second in the Majors with 10 outfield assists, trailing only the Twins' Michael Cuddyer, who has 14.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times with the Monster 2007 All-Star Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 club sites until June 28 at 10:59 p.m. CT.
Selecting the rosters isn't the end of the fun in 2007, either. Concluding the All-Star balloting process, fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet at the All-Star Game via the Monster.com 2007 All-Star Game MVP Vote at MLB.com.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage and MLB Radio will have exclusive play-by-play coverage of the game on the Internet.
Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.