A French teen made history this past weekend as she became the first female international player eligible to be signed by Major League Baseball.
Melissa Mayeux was added to the league's international registration list on Sunday, making her eligible to be picked up when the international signing period opens on July 2. The 16-year-old is a shortstop and currently plays for the French U-18 junior national team.
— MLB (@MLB) June 22, 2015
Several women have played professionally in the U.S. with all-women's teams, MLB-affiliated teams, and with the former Negro League, but none have joined a top-level men's MLB team. One female player, minor league pitcher Jackie Mitchell, famously struck out both Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in a 1931 exhibition game against the New York Yankees when she was 17.
While Mayeux is technically eligible to be signed this summer, it isn't likely to happen, according to MLB.com. Most European MLB prospects aren’t signed until they’re closer to 18 years old. And even if she is signed, she probably wouldn't play professionally in the U.S. until she's 18.
Right now, Mayeux is focused on continuing her growth.
"I would like very much to continue playing baseball in France until I'm 18 years old," she said. "And then have the ability to leave for university or another opportunity abroad. I'd like to stay in baseball as long as possible."
Mayeux is also one of the four French players selected for the MLB's European Elite Camp in August, CNN reported.
Watch a 2013 video of Mayeux in action below: