French Teen Becomes The First Female On MLB's International Registration List
In order to sign as a free agent with a pro baseball team, international players need to be placed on the international registration list. This is typically done after a Major League Baseball-affiliated event at which representatives from the league confirm a player's birthdate and citizenship. It doesn't mean that the player in question will get signed, but it's a necessary prerequisite reserved for players under serious consideration.
This past weekend 16-year-old French girl Melissa Mayeux became the first-ever female to be placed on the list. Right now, she plays on the French national under-18 league, as a quick, competent shortstop while also starting for France's senior national softball team. Her talent landed Meyeux on many pro team's radars when she was just 14 years old.
MLB Director of International Game Development Mike McClellan, who has been tracking her career for two years, says, "She's a legitimate shortstop who makes all the plays and is very smooth and fluid in the field. She swings the bat really well and is fearless." He cites a particular at-bat recently in which she ripped a single off a 19-year-old Dominican pitcher who was throwing 91 mph.
— MLB (@MLB) June 22, 2015
Teams are not allowed to sign 16-year-olds before July 2, so pretty soon we'll find out if any of the MLB's clubs are ready to take a chance on Meyeux although frankly, at this stage, it's unlikely she'll get signed. It's rare for a European player to enter an organization at such a young age. But even if she goes unsigned this year, Meyeux's career is far from over. Later this summer, she'll be among a highly select group to attend MLB's European Elite Camp. If she doesn't go pro, she'll remain eligible to play for an American college team in a couple of years. And if she stays among France's elite players, you'll have a chance to see her on the international stage at 2017's World Baseball Classic.
You can watch a 2013 video of 14-year-old Meyeux in the field below: