The fastest throwing female pitcher on the planet is an 18-year-old from Australia named Genevieve Beacom, and she might just be the next Shohei Ohtani.
In 2022, Genevieve Beacom—the left-handed, 6'2", two-way superstar teenager from Victoria, Australia with an 86mph fastball and nasty curveball to complement it—became the first woman to ever play in the Australian Baseball League. Yet this incredible accolade was just another of the endless, historic firsts that Beacom has (and will continue to) tally during her baseball career.
Even though she has spent most of her career playing against men, Beacom has performed above and beyond her peers. In fact, Genevieve made the training camp roster for Australia's Under-18 men's team just last year—wowing scouts with her raw talent both on the mound and at the plate.
Meet Genevieve Beacom, the Next Shohei Ohtani
The comparisons between Beacom and baseball's biggest superstar, Shohei Ohtani, weren't common until the 18-year-old's recent appearance in the 2023 WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup, which took place between August 8-13 in Canada. Here, the teenage prodigy showcased her skills on the biggest stage.
Throughout the tournament's five games, Beacom went 4-13 at the dish, including a few fly balls that came agonizingly close to soaring over the outfield fence. However, hitting isn't even Beacom's biggest strength. The flame-throwing lefty started on the mound for Australia's first Women's Baseball World Cup game on August 8th against the United States. While Australia lost the game 3-2—a feat in itself, considering Team USA won their next 4 games by a combined score of 68-0—Genevieve Beacom impressed on the mound by going 2.2 innings and striking out four hitters while only allowing two runs—all while it was raining.
In Beacom's second start against Canada, she struggled with her command some but still added four more strikeouts to her tournament total—culminating in 8 strikeouts overall, which tied her for 2nd most in the tournament. Australia won that game 11-7. Throughout the tournament, Beacom's fastball sat around the 84-86 mph range. For reference, the highest velocity at the 2018 Women's Baseball World Cup was 78 mph.
Despite Team Australia going 2-3 in this year's tournament and missing out on the finals, Beacom's baseball career is just getting started. The future, and perhaps current, face of women's baseball is now back in Australia, and plans to take a gap year before coming to the United States and playing college baseball in 2024. Beacom has already been in contact with numerous Division 1 baseball programs, and should have no problem finding the right home.
College baseball may not even be Beacom's ceiling. "If [Beacom] starts to touch that 90mph threshold and continues to refine her control, there is a realistic possibility that professional teams could take some interest," one of Genevieve's Team Australia coaches recently said. Considering that Beacom is still growing, reaching 90mph is certainly possible.
While professional baseball might be in Beacom's future, it's still a long way off. Now we just have to wait for see where the female, 18 year old, Australian Shohei Ohtani decides to play college ball. Hopefully it's close to wherever you live.
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