Five Women Inside The Game Give Their Perspective On Working In Baseball

Ashley Bratcher
Senior Director, Baseball Operations for USA Baseball

What She Does: A graduate of North Carolina, where she served as team manager for the women's soccer program, Bratcher serves as general manager of the USA Baseball Women's National Team and the 15U boys team, having run the 12U team in the past. She has also helped develop and run USA Baseball's National Team Development Programs.

"I've always been operations- and admin-oriented, so from the start, those were roles I was put in . . . I definitely learned a lot of things on the fly. Over the years I've just been handed off different levels of responsibility. "

Advice For Others: "(Baseball is) known as being an old boys' club. One thing that has helped me to be successful is if you approach it as "I'm a female who doesn't belong," you're giving others the permission to approach you as a female who doesn't belong. So I've never acknowledged that maybe I'm not supposed to be here. I've approached it as I'm doing the same job as everyone else, and as long as I'm doing it to the level it is supposed to be done or, hopefully, better, then I will belong."

Emilee Fragapane
Coordinator of Research and Development, Dodgers

What She Does: A graduate of Sonoma State (Calif.) with a graduate degree in quantitative economics from UC Santa Barbara, Fragapane worked for the Gauchos baseball team before being hired by the Dodgers.

"Day to day, there's still a lot of analysis and working with modeling, but also a lot more video work and talking to the staff and players and trying to marry the on-field considerations with the people who are making the models . . . I've been able to get out to the (minor league) affiliates a lot more and actually talk to people, and that's a really nice change."

Advice For Others: "I am very fortunate in that I haven't had any negative experiences with our baseball staff, and working more with the coaches and players in the last year, it's been glaringly obvious how good I have it . . . I'm very pleased with the way the Dodgers have hired people, and how understanding and accepting they've been of me and Megan (Schroeder), having women in our roles as equals, and respected equals. It's something special that we have here."

Stacy Piagno
Righthander, Sonoma Stompers and Team USA

What She Does: The 26-year-old righthander went 1-0, 3.60 through 10 innings for independent Sonoma this season after pitching for the Stompers last year as well. She also has played for USA Baseball's Women's National Team since 2012, competing at three World Cups and winning a gold medal with Team USA at the Pan Am Games in 2015. Piagno played infield for the University of Tampa softball team in college. By vocation, Piagno is a graphic designer who is looking to pursue teaching since she has begun to work with children more often. She is hoping to take baseball as far as possible before fully delving into another profession.

Advice For Others: "Don't ever let anybody tell you that you can't do something. You're the only one who can decide that.

"If you want something bad enough, put in the work and don't stop until you have achieved your goal. Other people's opinions are good to take into consideration, whether they are good or bad, but you are the only one who can decide your path in life."

Megan Schroeder
Manager of Research and Development, Dodgers

What She Does: A Yale graduate, Schroeder completed her PhD at Northwestern, where she studied biomedical engineering. The former Phillies fan finished a data science fellowship before the Dodgers hired her for the R&D department.

"As part of the performance science team, I get to interact a lot with the medical staff, the strength and conditioning staff, and player development across the board, as well as the major league staff. It's been really interesting for me to get all of those perspectives and then use that when I look at the data and write reports."

Advice For Others: "Everybody has been incredibly open and treated me like everybody else, which has been nice. I haven't had any specific issues, just some annoyances when I've been at a spring-training complex and I want to talk to a coach and they're in the coaches' locker room and it's a little awkward, where it's like, 'Is anybody changing in there, or can I come in?' Obviously there's nothing to be done about that, but everyone has been great and I've enjoyed working with the staff."

Amanda Hopkins
Amateur scout, Seattle Mariners

What She Does: Hopkins became the first full-time female scout in Major League Baseball in more than half a century when the Mariners hired her in 2015. That helped her fulfill a lifelong dream after she completed both an internship in the organization's front office and was sponsored by the club to attend Scout School. Hopkins scouts the four corners, covering Arizona, Colorado New Mexico and Utah. She got her start in player evaluation traveling with her father (then-Rangers scouting director) Ron Hopkins on his scouting trips.

"I started out going to as many games as I could, and I began writing small summaries on the players that I saw . . . For people who want to break into scouting at a young age, that's a good place to start."

Advice For Others: "Just go after it. If it's your dream, go for it. I didn't want to look back and say that I didn't give it a chance. If it's your dream, absolutely go for it, because it is more than possible. It's going to be a lot of hard work, as it is for everyone, because it's a busy job, but it is possible."