Red Sox pitching prospect Noah Song has completed his flight training and has applied to the Secretary of the Navy for a waiver that would allow him to pursue his baseball career, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
Song, who turns 25 later this month, was originally selected by the Sox in the fourth round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the United States Naval Academy. The right-hander was viewed as a top-100 talent at that time, but slipped in the draft due to his military status.
After signing with Boston for $406,000, Song made his professional debut for the short-season Lowell Spinners that summer and posted a miniscule 1.06 ERA with 19 strikeouts to five walks over seven starts spanning 17 innings of work. He also pitched out of the bullpen for Team USA in the 2019 WBSC Premier12 tournament.
When he initially graduated from the Naval Academy, Song had applied for a waiver that would allow him to serve in the reserve while still pitching professionally. After more than a year of waiting for a response, though, the California native elected to enroll in flight school in the summer of 2020.
Now that he has completed flight school and earned his wings, Song is once again looking to resume his baseball career while still serving in the reserves. It is unclear how much baseball-related activity the righty has been able to participate in over the last two-plus years, but the Red Sox do believe he has been throwing at the very least.
“Obviously, flight school is incredibly demanding. That has been his priority throughout. As someone who has always hoped to have a chance to return, I think he’s continued [baseball] activity,” senior vice president of baseball operations Ben Crockett told Speier. “We’ve tried to stay in touch with him on that and try to give him some guidance on programming that could fit the best, but obviously, the schedule is unpredictable. But yes, there has been some level of activity.”
Assuming his waiver is approved this time around, Song would likely report to extended spring training in Fort Myers in his return to the Red Sox organization before being assigned to a minor-league affiliate later in the year.
Given the fact that he has not pitched in a professional environment in over two years, it is difficult to say what the Sox will be getting in Song, who touched 99 mph with his fastball in 2019.
Despite the long layoff, though, the 24-year-old hurler began the 2022 season regarded by Baseball America, FanGraphs, and SoxProspects.com as one of the top-30 prospects in Boston’s farm system. His return to the organization would obviously be a welcomed one.
(Picture of Noah Song: Gene Wang/Getty Images)