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Red Sox prospect Noah Song, a Navy grad, values his service time

Noah Song, a 6-foot-4 right-hander from Claremont, California, set six program records, including for most career wins (32) and strikeouts (428), led the nation with 161 strikeouts this season and became the Naval Academy's first player to be named first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY

By CHRISTOPHER SMITH | MassLive.com | Published: October 9, 2019

BOSTON (Tribune News Service) — The Red Sox drafted talented right-handed pitcher Noah Song in the fourth round out of the United States Naval Academy in June. One of the top story lines became whether the Navy would accept his petition to become a reservist and delay his active service time to play professional baseball.

An MLB team likely would have drafted him in the first round if not for the uncertainty surrounding his military service time. He has a four-pitch repertoire that includes a fastball that topped out at 98 mph in college and a plus-curveball, per his Baseball America scouting report.

Song has strong values. He’s not concerned about fame and earning millions playing baseball. He has the talent to make good money.

The 22-year-old, a 2019 Golden Spikes Finalist, simply wants to pursue what makes him passionate. He’s passionate about both serving in the military and playing baseball.

“Obviously my service time for my country and our servicemembers is a huge thing that I value and I feel very passionate about,” Song told MassLive.com near the end of Short Season Lowell’s season. “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.”

Baseball America listed him on the Red Sox’s fall instructional roster. But he remained in Newport, R.I., where he’s stationed.

In spite of his situation, the Red Sox drafted a talented pitcher.

The 6-4, 200-pounder received permission from the Navy to pitch at Lowell this summer while he also served in Newport. He allowed just two earned runs in 17 innings (1.06 ERA) and posted a .167 batting average against. He struck out 19 and walked five.

SoxProspects.com already ranks him the No. 9 prospect in the system.

“As far as physical development, it’s really been the changeup that’s come along a little bit,” Song said. “I threw it slim to none in college. And then our pitching coach (Nick Green) here, he’s really, really big on the changeup. He’s really trying to emphasize that to me. Obviously I had a lot of trust in him. And I started to trust the pitch a little bit more. It by no means is a perfect pitch. But it’s one that obviously has developed into one I can use in every start now."

He’ll obviously accept whatever path his life takes him. His parents taught him to pursue what make him passionate. His father works for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. His mother is a middle school special education-aide instructor.

“Growing up, I was by no means in a rich household or anything,” Song said. “Our parents did a good job raising us. They were able to supply everything that we needed. But I think everything past the necessities in life, everything else really is a luxury. And it’s just kind of how your perspective is. And I think going through the Naval Academy makes you realize a lot of things in life our luxuries. People just don’t realize that they are.

“I think when it comes down to it, you’ve got basically your food, water and your freedom. It’s pretty much the necessities that you really need in life. For me, everybody talks about how the military doesn’t get paid that much. But the fact that you get paid to do an honor like that and to serve your country and to protect that freedom for yourself and for your family members and friends, it’s a great thing to do. And whether it be next year or a few years after baseball ends, one way or another, that service time will get paid back by me in full. And I’m very much looking forward to it."

A Navy graduate also could petition and request for reserve status after two years of active duty.

“There’s no guarantee there, either,” he said.

©2019 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.
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