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Ever since we watched Mo’ne Davis sling it on the mound during the 2014 Little League World Series, the question of whether a female would ever play in Major League Baseball shifted a bit closer to “when” rather than “if.” Sixteen-year-old Melissa Mayeux, a shortstop for the French national U-18 team, made history by becoming the first known-female added to MLB’s international registration list on Sunday afternoon. Her addition makes her eligible to be signed to an MLB team as early as July 2.
Mayeux, along with other international prospects, was added to the list after confirming their dates of birth and citizenship at MLB-sanctioned events. It’s not too difficult to be put on the list, but only those considered to have a chance of actually being signed are put on the list. Let’s not get carried away just yet; Mayeux is eligible to be signed, but European prospects typically sign when they’re 18 as opposed to 16. Still, her being added to the list further legitimatizes her status as a player. If she does remain unsigned, she’s eligible to play in the American university system.
Mike McClellan, the MLB Director of International Game Development, has watched Mayeux play for two years. The moment that stood out to him was when she faced a 19-year-old pitcher from the Dominican Republic who was throwing 91 mph.
“She ripped a base hit off of him, just to the right of second base,” McClellan said. “She just went with the pitch, and she looked good doing it.”
In August, Mayeux will be one of just four players from the French team to participate in MLB’s European Elite camp in August, where she’ll get to work with some former MLB greats, like Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. Seventy-six players who have participated in the camp, which has been around for 10 years, have gone on to sign MLB contracts. Even after making MLB history, Mayeux’s coach Boris Rothermundt says she’s only concerned about one thing… playing baseball.
“Melissa just wants to have to most opportunity she can in baseball,” said Rothermundt. “She is not at all thinking about being the first female on the list.”