Boston Red Sox prospect Noah Song got some bad news on Tuesday as far as his playing future is concerned, but there is still hope we could see him suit up.
The Red Sox got a steal in this year’s draft as they were able to get high-level pitching prospect Noah Song in the fourth round. Song has the potential to be the future of Boston’s pitching staff and one of their best homegrown hurlers in quite some time. Sadly, we may not get to see his skills at Fenway Park anytime soon unless he gets approval from the Navy.
Song was drafted out of the Naval Academy and quickly began to turn heads on the mound. As far as his playing future is concerned there is plenty of grey area surrounding it. He was able to play for the Lowell Spinners after being drafted thanks to permission being granted by the Navy, but this time around hasn’t gone as smoothly.
Yesterday afternoon Red Sox Nation got the news that the Naval Academy and Chief of Naval Operations have denied his petition to defer his service in order to play baseball. Things aren’t fully set in stone though as Song and the Red Sox still need to hear from the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense. They have the ability to grant his petition and allow him to continue within the Boston system.
Red Sox VP of player development, Ben Crockett, spoke with MassLive.com about the situation and expressed his positivity that something could be worked out.
"“We were aware of and understand the lack of endorsement from the Naval Academy and the Chief of Naval Operations as this request moved up the chain of command,” Red Sox vice president of player development Ben Crockett wrote to MassLive.com"
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I can see things from the Naval side of the argument as they’ll want all hands on deck in case their number gets called. I can also admit it would be a major disappointment if Song isn’t able to see out his potential and further his career on the mound while in his prime.
We all know how fickle a pitcher’s career can be, all it takes is one wrong flinch and things can be changed forever. Luckily, he’s only 22-years-old, so time is on is side in the grand scheme if he isn’t allowed to pursue baseball right away.
The righty isn’t the first athlete to have to put his career on hold in order to serve and most likely won’t be the last. Hell, we’ve all heard the stories of what Ted Williams may have been able to achieve had he not served in both World War II and the Korean War. Some may not want to believe this but there are things in this world far greater than playing baseball.
When speaking about Noah’s opportunity to both serve the country and play baseball, Crockett was adamant that serving his term is just as important as pitching for the Red Sox.
"“He has not yet received a response from the Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of Defense,” Crockett also wrote. “Until we hear something definitive from them, both the Red Sox and Noah will remain hopeful that he gets a chance to play for the Red Sox AND serve.”"
Being able to do both would be the best-case scenario. Again, the righty just turned 22 earlier this year and has plenty of time left on the calendar. If he does have to serve right away then he will still be around 24 or 25 when his term is completed. That’s if he begins his service term right away of course. That leaves some good years left for him to continue developing his craft and seek out playing for the Red Sox.
It would be a disappointment to see a pitcher the level of Noah Song be unable to show what he’s capable of, but in life, there can be greater callings. If you know anyone that’s ever served in any branch of the service then you know just how important it is to not just them, but to all of us. There is still a chance that we could see him in the Red Sox system this upcoming season, but if we don’t, it will be for a damn good reason.