In a surprise to start the spring, former top pitching prospect and Phillies Rule 5 Draft selection Noah Song has been allowed to pursue a baseball career while being active in the Navy reserves.
Per the Phillies, Song was not discharged but transferred his service from active duty to selective reserves. He's still serving in the military while still being allowed to play pro baseball.— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) February 22, 2023
Who is Noah Song?
Song was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox. Many at the time believed that Song had first round talent but fell in the draft due to his military service commitments. Song led Division 1 baseball in strikeouts and K/9 in 2019 and pitched to a 1.44 ERA in 14 starts for the Midshipmen in 2019. He’s listed at 6’4, 200 pounds at once threw his fastball in the upper 90s, touching 99-100 MPH. Song is 25 years old and will turn 26 in May.
Minor League Career
Song’s professional career consists of 7 starts he made with the Red Sox Low A affiliate in 2019. He posted a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings with 19 strikeouts. Song’s petition to delay his service time was rejected in December of 2019 by the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. He then attended flight school and began his career as a Navy pilot.
How did he become a Phillie?
Boston elected to leave Song off their 40-man roster and thus unprotected in the Rule 5 draft after being unable to delay his Naval commitment. The Phillies selected song in the Rule 5 draft in December 2022. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski was with the Red Sox when Song was originally drafted.
What does this all mean?
Now that Song has been given permission to join the Phillies in camp, he will now have to make the team. As a Rule 5 selection, Song has to remain on the Phillies active 26-man roster all season. If not, he will be placed on waivers and, if he clears, be offered back to Boston. He does not have to be placed on Philadelphia’s 40-man roster until Opening Day on March 30th. He essentially has 35 days to prove that he belongs on a big-league roster despite not pitching professionally in over three years and with just 17 minor league innings under his belt.
The Phillies already have a bit of a logjam of pitchers on their current roster. If top prospect Andrew Painter wins the fifth rotation spot, Bailey Falter and Nick Nelson will be in the bullpen as long man options. Song’s best chance to make the roster is to claim a long man/multi-inning reliever role. He has to prove he still has the talent and ability he had in 2019. In addition, he will have to beat out one or both of those pitchers for a roster spot.
Song’s arrival just became the most interesting storyline to follow in an otherwise quiet camp for the Phillies.