Prospect Scouting Report: Anthony Buffone

Anthony Buffone wasn't a highly touted college prospect, but he has some good qualities that at least got him drafted. Perhaps his most attractive quality is the fact that he can play anywhere and can play well anywhere. Versatility is a plus, but it could also pigeon-hole Buffone into a utility role. If all goes right though, he'll show enough talent to work himself out of any "utility" position that he may find himself in.

In college - the University of Maryland - Anthony Buffone never knew for sure where he would play. He was all over. In one game, he literally played all nine positions in a game against Duquesne. The day brought a first for Buffone, who found himself on the pitcher's mound to face one hitter in the seventh inning. That didn't go too well as Buffone gave up a double in his only pitching attempt of his college career. On the plus side, the runner was thrown out trying to steal third, so it didn't go all too badly, since that was the third out of the inning.

Buffone didn't move from position to position throughout his college career because he couldn't find a home. He moved around because he could and because his coach wanted to keep him in the lineup. Buffone finished his career at Maryland with a .321 career average and left as Maryland's all-time hits leader.

In his first season with the Phillies, Buffone struggled to say the least. He was still showing his versatility, playing at first, second and third base for Batavia, but offensively, he hit just .202 and looked somewhat overmatched at times. Even though he struggled, Buffone showed some promise and scouts believe it may just take some time for Buffone to get his bat going.

2004 Batavia 0 8 .202 38 129 8 26 3 1 2 5 10 12 .259
Career 0 8 .202 38 129 8 26 3 1 2 5 10 12 .259

Offense and Power: Don't look for Buffone to provide much power. He's more of a singles and doubles hitter who has good plate discipline. At Maryland, he walked 60 times in his career and struck out only 62 times. Those numbers would have been better if not for his 11 walks and 18 strikeouts in his freshman season.

Baserunning and Speed: Just as Buffone isn't going to hit many homeruns, he's not going to steal many bases. It's not that he's extremely slow - his speed is average - but he just doesn't have the knack to steal many bases as his 28% success rate in his first pro season shows.

Defense: Buffone played primarily at second base in 2004, partially since there are a lot of potential prospects at third base for the Phillies. Basically, Buffone is best on the infield, but plays pretty well wherever he's put. His range at second is slightly above average and he's got a solid arm.

Projection: It's very early in Buffone's professional career and nobody knows for sure how long it will take him to find his stroke in the minors. He'll likely be held in extended spring training and then head back to Batavia once the New York - Penn League gets underway.

ETA: 2010

Comparison: Kevin Sefcik. Remember him? Sefcik ended his major league career with a .275 batting average and was a nice commodity to have on the bench. It's likely that Buffone will wind up being that same type of player.

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