I wanted to get up to Omaha this past weekend to see Nashville play, but family obligations prevented that.
However, MinorLeagueBall.com reader Scott Dangler was there, and he sent me the following report. I am posting this with his permission. Take it away, Scott!
I checked out the Sounds/Royals game in Omaha this Sunday. A few of you wanted to hear about guys like Weeks, Fielder, Capellan, etc. Here's my $.10:
Rickie Weeks, 2B: Looked real good, both at the plate and in the field. Still pretty impatient at the plate, but his bat quickness and strength make up for this. He hit 4 doubles in the first 2 games of the series, and had as many walks as strikeouts for the weekend, which is rare. Made two really good plays at 2B when I watched, one to his right and an excellent diving stop/spin from his knees play to his left. Right now, he seems to project as a Soriano-type: great athlete, good speed, inconsistent at times, not a big fan of the free pass. But if he slugs .600 in Milwaukee like he is at Nashville, my guess is they'll overlook the K's/lack of BB's. Hopefully they have time to wait and see if his plate discipline will come around and he'll change from a good player to a great one. But if Milwaukee needs a change at 2B, he'd probably do just as good as Junior Spivey right now or very soon.
Prince Fielder, 1B: I cannot believe how much the big fella looks like Dad. BIG swinger from the left side; broke out of a homer slump of Sunday with a deep fly that got pushed out by a strong wind blowing out to left. Looked like he would be adequate at first base, given some time. He actually moves quite well for such a big kid. In his column today, Peter Gammons talked about a scenario where Milwaukee is facing a big dilemma with Overbay doing so well and Fielder ready to come up later this fall. With Overbay hitting the crap out of the ball, what's the hurry? He's not ready now, but he's not that far away. A fun player to watch, just like his dad: a few in the crowd were razzing him pretty good (name, dad, weight, etc.), so he just went up and greeted the new pitcher with a home run.
Jose Capellan, SP: Big, solid guy, throws straight gas. 96-97 through most of the 5 innings. Fastball seemed to be under control, but the curveball is definitely a work in progress. He bounced at least 4, resulting in 2 WP's (1 was later taken away by the scorer). He threw 1 curveball for a strike all day. Maybe even more alarming was something that happened in the 4th inning. He has a full count on a Omaha batter who had fouled back 3 in a row. His took something off his 3-2 fastball and it still missed. To me it showed that he still doesn't trust his control. He was perfect through 3, but the Royals hitters were ready for the fastball the 2nd time through, and made a lot more contact. He's still quite a ways away from being ready for the big time.
Dave Krynzel, CF: Solid, patient hitter, played a decent center field, runs well, hits line drives. Looks like a good player to me.
Milwaukee has to be pleased with their AAA affiliate. They have some quality guys who are on the cusp or getting there. It sure seems like that franchise finally has some direction, as well as, hard as it is to believe, some momentum at the major league level. If you get a chance, check out the Sounds at a town near you.