Melissa Mayeux, a 16-year-old French shortstop, has become the first known female to be added to Major League Baseball’s international prospect registration list, writes MLB.com’s Lindsay Berra. That would make Mayeux, who plays for the U-18 French junior national team, eligible to sign with a Major League club on July 2. As Berra goes on to explain, only players that at least have a chance to be signed by a Major League team are typically registered. It still seems unlikely that Mayeux will be signed, Berra continues. European prospects typically sign at the age of 18, as opposed to 16, as is often the case with Latin American prospects. Mayeux tells Berra that she’s not focusing on being the first female added to the registration list and simply hopes to be able to play baseball for as long as possible. MLB director of international game development Mike McClellan calls Mayeux a “legitimate shortstop,” praising her fielding ability and adding that she “swings the bat really well and is fearless.”
A few more notes from the international prospect scene…
- MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports that Cuban outfielder Yusnier Diaz has also registered with MLB and will be eligible to sign in the upcoming signing period (Twitter link). The 18-year-old Diaz will first need to be declared a free agent by the league before he can sign, however. Ben Badler of Baseball America reported in April that Diaz had left Cuba, though at the time there seemed to be a chance that Diaz would be ineligible for the upcoming signing period. That no longer appears to be the case. Badler praised Diaz’s plus speed and plus arm, though he also noted that his right-handed swing is a bit long at times.
- Speaking of Badler, his latest piece examines top international prospect Starling Heredia’s unusual baseball career (subscription required and recommended). The Dominican outfielder never even played in an organized baseball game until he was 13 years old, Badler writes. Heredia tells Badler that his coaches originally wanted him to be a third baseman, but he was unimpressive there and garnered little attention until he homered on the first swing he took. Heredia was converted to an outfielder and he’s grown at a surprising rate, as he’s already said to be 6’1″ and 215 pounds. Badler spoke to multiple scouts who praised Heredia’s bat speed, running speed and strong arm, but there’s some question about he’ll handle more advanced pitching. Badler notes that the Dodgers are the favorites to sign Heredia, who could receive a bonus in excess of $2MM.