French teenager, Melissa Mayeux, could be first woman in MLB

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While she has not signed to play shortstop for the New York Yankees yet, French teenager Melissa Mayeux has been added to the MLB's international registration list, according to MLB.com. This means she could be signed by an MLB club on July 2. She is the first woman to be added to that list. In this case, it's the "could be" that is notable. Being on that list makes her much like any other international player in that she theoretically has a chance to be in the majors.

So who is Mayeux? She is a 16-year-old shortstop from France who joined the French national team two years ago via the U-15 team. Her coach, Boris Rothermundt, has been working with her those two years and says that she just wants to have an opportunity in baseball. You would have to say being added to the MLB's international registration list is a big step in that goal.

Players added to the list can technically be anyone, but generally speaking, only players with enough potential to step up and play for a major league club are added. They are added at MLB events through verifying their date of birth and citizenship. So even though most people will tell you it's a longshot that Mayeux is ever signed by an MLB team, simply being added to the registry makes her a legitimate player.

For Mayeux's part, she speaks very little English and has no idea that being added to the registry is notable news in the United States. She says she simply wants to keep playing baseball in France until she turns 18. After that, she might interested in pursuing further baseball opportunities in university or abroad. She added that she hopes to play baseball for as long as she can.

MLB Director of International Game Development Mike McClellan calls Mayeux a "legitimate shortstop" who can make plays while looking smooth and fluid on the field. He specifically mentioned an incident where she got a hit off of a Dominican pitcher throwing 91 mph. A respectable but low velocity in the majors, it's nevertheless much harder than most kids in Mayeux's age group throw. Mayeux ripped the pitch up the middle for a base hit.

Most European prospects on the list end up signing when they're closer to age 18, so that would be more likely when Mayeux would be considered. If she did sign, she would then be invited to spring training for evaluation. If she remains unsigned, then she would be eligible the university system in America.

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