The River City Rascals boast plenty of experience in their outfield entering the 2019 season; including two-thirds of their starting unit from a year ago. JD Hearn and Zach Lavy return for their second season each with the team, and will be joined by Frontier League veteran Cody Livesay, former Can-Am Leaguer Nolan Meadows, and former Washington Nationals farmhand Kameron Esthay.
Hearn, a Frontier League All-Star in his rookie campaign, hit .281 with 25 doubles, 10 home runs and 42 RBIs on the season. The Campbell, CA native also homered and drove in three runs in the team's playoff series against the Joliet Slammers. After starting the year as a middle infielder, he earned the starting job in centerfield by the midway point of the season. The 24-year old joined the Rascals out of UC San Diego, where he helped lead the Tritons to the NCAA D2 World Series championship game as a senior in 2017.
Lavy also began last season in the infield, as the starting third baseman. The Auxvasse, MO native eventually became the everyday right fielder, and ended up hitting .248 on the year with 10 homers and 36 RBIs—while also going yard and driving in four runs in the postseason. Prior to signing with the Rascals, the 25-year old spent his first two seasons as a professional with the Gateway Grizzlies. He played his college ball at Mizzou, where he was a semifinalist for the Gregg Olson award as a senior. The award is given annually to the top breakout player in college baseball.
Livesay is no stranger to Rascals fans, having spent the past four seasons with the crosstown-rival Grizzlies—hitting .262 last season with 23 RBIs and 79 hits in 90 games. He hit .308 in his first season with the team in 2015. Originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 42nd round of the 2011 draft out of high school, the Jonesboro, IL native spent three seasons in the Braves' system, progressing as far as the (A) Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League.
Meadows joins the Rascals after spending the 2018 season with the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League, where he hit .245 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs. The San Pedro, CA native played in the Frontier League in 2016 and 2017 with the Normal CornBelters, and was named an All-Star during the 2016 campaign. The 26-year old played his college ball at Long Beach State, and spent his rookie season with the Roswell Invaders of the Pecos League in 2015.
Esthay was originally a 26th round pick by the Washington Nationals in the 2017 MLB Draft out of Baylor, where he was a career .303 hitter with 17 home runs and 91 RBIs for the Bears over three seasons with the program. The Lake Charles, LA native spent his rookie season with the (A-) Auburn Doubledays of the New-York Penn League, and played last season with the (A) Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League, where he hit 10 home runs and drove in 30 RBIs. The 24-year old hit .273 with the Doubledays in 2017.
The Rascals kick-off the 2019 campaign against the Washington Wild Things on Thursday, May 9 at CarShield Field. Tickets for the season are available at rivercityrascals.com, or by calling the team box office at 636-240-2287.