Noah Song, Red Sox draft pick from Navy, comes with service time caveat

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The Boston Red Sox selected Noah Song with the No. 137 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft on Tuesday ... but they might not see him for a while.

Song, a 6-foot-4 pitcher out of Navy, has a two-year military service requirement before he can start pitching in Boston's farm system. Teams weighed this unique factor while evaluating him. 

“It’s complicated,” one team’s amateur scouting director recently told the New York Times. “On most guys it’s about talent, it’s about performance, athleticism, makeup — things like that. With Noah, you have to take into consideration: how long is he going to be away?”

Song will report to Pensacola, Fla., on Nov. 1 to begin training as a Naval flight officer, per the Times. After two years there, he can petition to serve the remainder of his five-year military commitment as a reservist and begin his professional baseball career. 

Song is the first Navy baseball player to be selected inside the first 10 rounds of the draft. When the Red Sox drafted the right-hander on Tuesday, it opened a four-year window for Boston to add him to its 40-man roster. Song likely will serve in the Navy for at least two of those years.

On the mound, Song throws four pitches: a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. His heater consistently crosses the plate in the mid-90's. Many teams projected him as a second- or third-round talent, but the military question mark may have turned some organizations away.

In his senior year at Navy, Song went 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 ininings. He joins a Red Sox rookie class that includes middle infielder Cameron Cannon, shortstop Matthew Lugo and pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn. 

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