Bill Wagner of the Capital Gazette reports that Red Sox minor league pitcher Noah Song has been ordered to report to flight school at Naval Air Station Pensacola by the Department of Defense. As a result, Song’s professional baseball career, which just started, will be paused.
Song, 23, played baseball for the Navy from 2016-19, posting a 2.37 ERA with 428 strikeouts and 121 walks over 334 1/3 innings. The Red Sox selected him in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. In a brief appearance in the New York Penn League last year, Penn allowed two runs on 10 hits and five walks with 19 strikeouts across 17 innings of work. MLB Pipeline currently has him ranked No. 15 in the Red Sox system. Baseball America has him at No. 9 and FanGraphs has him fifth.
According to Wagner, Song submitted a request to be waived from his duties back in October. Song changed his mind in April, as he does not retroactively qualify under a recent DoD policy that allows service academy graduates to pursue careers in professional sports upon graduation. Song can seek early release from his active duty commitment in May next year.
Wagner’s article contains a lot more information about Song’s situation, but suffice it to say that the Red Sox will be without their pitching prospect for at least a year.