Boston Red Sox prospect Noah Song confirmed Monday a waiver to delay his military service in order to pursue his baseball career was denied by the United States Navy.
Song, a fourth-round pick in the 2019 MLB draft, told Bill Wagner of the Capital Gazette he requested the waiver in coordination with a new 2020 rule that will allow athletes from any of the military academies to hold off their required service in order to play professionally.
"Unfortunately, my request was negatively endorsed by the Naval Academy due to the fact this new policy did not apply to me," he said. "The Naval Academy did not provide a positive recommendation to the CNO and therefore the request was denied. So that's the end of that route."
President Donald Trump pushed for the new regulations, stating athletes should get the opportunity to maximize their opportunity to play sports during the "short window of time" the players' athletic talents are at their peak, per Wagner.
Song must now complete flight school, a two-year endeavor, before he can apply for another waiver to resume his baseball career.
The 22-year-old California native made seven starts for the Lowell Spinners in the Single-A short season New York-Penn League after being drafted in June. He flashed plenty of upside with a 1.06 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings.
He is rated as Boston's No. 15 prospect by MLB.com.
"I've dealt with enough adversity in my life that this isn't going to completely bring me down," Song told Wagner. "I'm excited to head down to flight school and get started on becoming a flight officer."
He added: "Perhaps after two years, I will get another shot."
Wagner noted Song also had ambitions of representing the United States at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but there has been no indication on whether he will be granted that opportunity.
Barring a late reversal of the Navy's decision, he won't rejoin the Red Sox organization until 2022.