Idaho Falls Chukars first baseman Ryan O’Hearn was named the Pioneer League Player of the Week after his performance last week.
The Sam Houston State product overpowered the Ogden Raptors in six games, going 14 of 25 with two home runs, four doubles, nine runs and six RBIs while hitting safely in each game. He led the league last week in average (.560), on-base percentage (.607) and slugging (.960).
At one point last week, O’Hearn had reached safely in eight straight at-bats.
O’Hearn leads the Pioneer League in batting average and slugging percentage, is second in on-base percentage and third in doubles.
The Chukars were off Monday, and return to action today with the first of four games at Billings. Idaho Falls then plays at Great Falls for three games, takes a day off for the Major League All-Star game and then starts a seven-game homestand against Billings on July 16.
Chukars right-handed pitcher Ali Williams became the third member of the Idaho Falls squad to earn pitcher of the week honors Tuesday when the Pioneer League handed out its weekly awards.
Williams claimed the award for the week of July 9 to Sunday.
Williams dominate the Helena Brewers on Thursday, tossing six shutout innings while surrendering three hits and striking out a career-high 11 batters to earn the win. Of the seven batters he didn’t retire with a strikeout, he forced six of them into groundball outs.
The Pioneer League has handed out four pitcher of the week awards thus far this season and the Chukars own three of them. Kyle Smith, who was promoted to Low-A Kane County, won the award in the league’s first week. And left-hander Clayton Schulz took home the award last week.
Williams, a 34th-round pick in 2011, lead the league’s active pitchers in WHIP (0.94) and batting average against (.185) before Tuesday’s start. He also ranked fifth in ERA (2.42) and was tied for second strikeouts (28).
Ali Williams, RHP: The combination of a 91-mph fastball and a sharp slider allowed Williams to strike out 11 in six innings against Helena on Thursday. He retired six of the seven batters he didn’t strike out by inducing a ground ball.
6 IP, 1-0, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K
Ethan Chapman, CF: Chapman set the table for the Chukars offense this week, posting a .500 on-base percentage and then swiping a league-best five stolen bases. His legs also carried him to third twice with a pair of triples.
Andrew Ferguson, RHP: Ferguson repeats as pitcher of the week after one earned in 132/3 innings over two starts lowered his ERA to 1.14, second best in the league. He tossed seven shutout innings in Grand Junction on Friday.
13.2 IP, 1-0, 10 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K
Ysmelin Alcantara, LF/RF: The 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic was one of the few bright spots in the lineup this week with a solo home run Friday, a 3-for-3 game Sunday and seven hits in six games.
Andrew Ferguson, RHP: The Benton, Ark., native limited the Pioneer League’s top offense, Ogden, through six innings Monday. Through the first two weeks, Ferguson has been the Chukars’ most consistent arm. He starts today.
6 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Jin-Ho Shin, C: The 20-year-old South Korean catcher recovered from a rough first week in Idaho Falls and clubbed five extra-base hits this week, including a pair of home runs. He has a hit in six straight games.
Kyle Smith, RHP: Smith showed why the Royals selected him the fourth round of the 2011 draft – and why they only planned to let him make one start with the Chukars – by striking out 11 in his professional debut.
5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K
Ethan Chapman, CF: The 30th-round pick out of California State San Bernardino started his career with a bang, hitting .471 his first week and making a head-first diving catch on a slicing liner in center field Tuesday.
Brennon Martin, LHP: Martin turned in the best performance of any Chukar, or any pitcher in the Pioneer League, in Ogden on Thursday. Martin retired 11 in a row at one point and nine of 10 to finish his outing.