Teagarden amazed at All-Star vote tally
Catcher was fourth in balloting despite being in Minors
FRISCO, Texas -- Rangers Minor League catcher Taylor Teagarden was a little surprised when he continued to see his name pop up in All-Star voting."I kept thinking that's pretty ridiculous," Teagarden said. "I guess they wanted to see me up there. It was cool, but I'm happy to be doing what I'm doing." That's because Teagarden, who is currently playing in Double-A Frisco, continued to rack up votes despite appearing in only 10 games for the Rangers to start the season. "I had a bunch of players and fans telling me I was up there in the ballots. I really had no idea why," Teagarden said. "I appreciate the fan support, but it's just one of those deals where I don't really get involved." Teagarden finished with 631,674 fan votes, more than American League catchers John Buck of the Blue Jays, Mike Napoli of the Angels and A.J. Pierzynski of the White Sox. Buck ended up making the roster as a reserve after Boston's Victor Martinez couldn't play after being placed on the disabled list. "People were telling me that I was up there ahead of guys that were obviously All-Star-caliber players," Teagarden said. "It was pretty cool, but the guys that went to Anaheim are the ones that deserved to be there." And while Teagarden had no shot at actually winning the fan vote -- Joe Mauer of the Twins finished with 5,372,606 votes -- he was still able to get a good laugh out of it. "There was absolutely no realistic shot of me going to Anaheim. I thought it was kind of humorous," Teagarden said. "Obviously, the Joe Mauers and guys like that are the guys that get the spotlight. I don't get too into that. I'm just trying to enjoy myself." Fourth place in fan-voting despite having only played in 10 games in the Majors this season is impressive in its own right. "[Teammates] kept telling me I was in fourth place," Teagarden said. "A couple of close family members that get all caught up in the All-Star stuff texted me." Teagarden opened the season with one hit in 27 at-bats with no RBIs. He was sent to Frisco, where he's since restarted his offensive production. Teagarden's numbers in Frisco haven't been eye-popping, but he believes he has made significant progress and he hopes to make it back to the Rangers soon. He's hitting .261 with three home runs and 29 RBIs in 162 at-bats for the Roughriders. And if he gets back, maybe he'll earn a spot on a future All-Star team. "I always feel like I can compete at any level," Teagarden said. "Obviously, me being down here, I still continue to work on things and I'm never satisfied. I want to keep getting better, keep improving and keep setting goals for myself to try and achieve." Teagarden believes that he's meeting those goals and takes solace in the fact that the Rangers don't need to press either him or Jarrod Saltalamacchia to get back to Arlington. "The big league club is doing fine and playing really well. Me worrying about getting back to the big leagues is just going to hamper my development," Teagarden said. "I'm just trying to take each day down here as a work in progress." But while Teagarden is confident in his ability to compete at all levels, he isn't too sure he would have been a deciding factor in the AL's 3-1 loss to the National League, its first loss since 1996. The Roughriders took on Arkansas in a doubleheader the day of the All-Star Game. "I don't feel like I could have made the difference," Teagarden laughed. "We were too busy playing."
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.