Red Sox top pitching prospect Noah Song has been ordered to report to flight school in Pensacola, Fla., by June 26, according to Bill Wagner of the Capital Gazette. Song will not pitch for at least a year as he fulfills his Navy commitments.
Song, 23, was Boston’s fourth-round pick in last year’s draft and posted a stellar 1.06 ERA in seven starts at short-season Lowell after signing. Last fall, Song submitted a waiver request to the Department of Defense so that he could transfer to the Navy Reserve and pitch this season, but according to Wagner, he sent an updated waiver to the Navy in April requesting to pursue flight training.
“The original waiver, which requested the ability to continue my service by transferring my commission to the Navy Reserves and concurrently pursuing a professional baseball career with the Red Sox organization, gave me the best chance to make it to the major leagues,” Song said in a statement issued through the Naval Academy public affairs office (via Wagner).
“However, I understand transferring immediately into the reserves is unlikely because the law and policy in my case do not permit it,” Song said.
Song will be able to apply for early release from his training program in May 2021, though Wagner reports that it is rare for a player to be released midway through flight training. At this point, Song’s career will be put on hold indefinitely.
Last summer, Song told MassLive’s Chris Smith that he was looking forward to achieving goals in both his baseball and military careers.
“Obviously my service time for my country and our service members is a huge thing that I value and I feel very passionate about,” Song said. “So on that end, something like that, it goes into my own personal goals in life: my self-fulfillment and things I want to accomplish throughout my lifetime.
“From the baseball aspect, really the reason why I’m playing baseball or why I even want to keep playing baseball at this level is obviously it’s fun and everything. But it’s really kind of about the competition level,” he added. “At the end of the day, I want to know for myself just kind of how far Noah Song is able to play baseball. Whether that be in Short A and this is it, or maybe a level higher or two. Really for me, it’s just trying to see where my peak is.”