French teenager Melissa Mayeux is in a league of her own.
On Sunday, MLB.com announced that the baseball shortstop was the first woman to be placed on the international registration list for the MLB. As a result, Mayeux’s eligibility to sign to the Major League club begins on July 2.
MLB.com reported that traditionally, only those international prospects who have the potential to play will be registered.
In France, the 16-year-old currently plays for the U-18 national team and the senior national softball team. Her athleticism is even more apparent in her ability to switch between facing overhand baseball pitchers and underhand fast-pitch softball pitchers.
MLB Director of International Game Development, Mike McClellan was quoted saying: “She’s a legitimate shortstop who makes all the plays and is very smooth and fluid in the field.”
As the first female to be added to the list, Mayeux paves the way for the possibility of professional women baseball players.
While it is unlikely that she will make a team right away, no female has ever been raised to the status of prospect who can be signed, The Guardian reports.
Other sports, such as soccer and basketball have given women the opportunity to play professionally. However, for baseball, most of the recognition of women has been in movies such as “A League of Their Own” which chronicles a women’s league during World War II.
For now, Mayeux is focused on improving her game and playing as much as possible.
She said, “I would like very much to continue playing baseball in France until I’m 18 years old and then have the ability to leave for university or another opportunity abroad. I’d like to stay in baseball as long as possible.”
Next week, she’ll attend a pitching and hitting camp in Germany. In August, Mayeux will be one of only four French players invited to participate in a European elite skills camp in August, the camp run by Major League Baseball.
Of Mayeux, Boris Rothermundt, a coach on the French national team said, “Melissa just wants to have to most opportunity she can in baseball.” He added, “She is not at all thinking about being the first female on the list.”