The Red Sox farm system has certainly improved the last few years, but it’s still not quite to the point of being one of those elite organizations who has easy top prospects through their top 20 names. Instead, we’re at the point of the Red Sox list now where there are a lot of different avenues to go, and you can be justified in dreaming on risky profiles over some of the other options. Which explains how we got here with number 15 on our list, who is the biggest wildcard in the entire system. That would be Noah Song, who snuck in and got himself on the list on his first time in the voting.
Song has been a fascinating case since his college days, when he came off a good junior year that put him on plenty of teams’ radars only to top that in his senior year in which he was one of the very best pitchers in the nation while with the Naval Academy. He was one of the most interesting draft cases in recent years, with first round talent and performance in his most recent year of college, but a military commitment rife with political questions regarding his immediate future significantly knocking down his draft stock.
Ultimately he fell into the fourth round when the Red Sox decided they could not wait any longer. It was unclear in that summer of 2019 what would happen with the former exemption professional athletes from military academies could receive to delay their military commitment, but the Red Sox saw enough talent to take the chance that things would work out in their favor. And in that first summer in the organization, he didn’t change any minds. Song dominated his first taste of professional ball, pitching to a 1.06 ERA over 17 innings with the now-defunct Lowell Spinners, striking out 19 and walking five. Song also pitched with Team USA in the Premier12 tournament and was one of the standout players on that roster in the fall of 2019.
But that was the last we’ve seen Song pitch, and not for the reasons of other guys in the system like Bryan Mata and Thad Ward, both of whom have been absent due to injury. Instead, Song was not allowed to delay his military commitment to pursue his athletic career, instead reporting to flight school following the 2019 season. He has not yet returned to the team, and it’s still not clear when that will happen.
This is uncharted territory Song finds himself in, and it’s pretty much impossible to know how to evaluate him. On the one hand, he hasn’t pitched in a professional setting since the fall of 2019, and in his early 20s that is crucial development time to get a pitcher to the highest level. On the other hand, pitchers miss big chunks of their development all the time. It’s part of being a pitcher. That’s even more true right now after the 2020 season was cancelled. Plus, Song is on a military base, so it’s not as though he’s not staying in shape. It’s not the same as baseball shape, I suspect, but it’s hard to be concerned physically.
Still though, I have no idea how to even describe his scouting. No one has seen him throw a pitch since 2019, and a whole lot could have changed, for the better or worse, in that time. For what it’s worth, everything looked extremely enticing in that stint with Lowell in 2019. Song showed off a starter’s repertoire with a big fastball along with two good secondaries in a slider and a changeup. Everything about what he saw and what scouts took away suggested a guy who could move quickly through the system and develop into a legitimate mid-rotation arm.
But again, we have no idea if any of that is still the case. I was as high as anyone on Song after the 2019 season, even thinking he was arguably their top prospect at that point. But two years later with still no clear answers on when he’ll even rejoin the team let alone what he’ll look like, it’s hard to have any firm opinion. This ranking makes sense to me. It also would’ve made sense to me if he was left off the top 20 entirely. It’s just a weird situation.
Here’s our list so far:
- Triston Casas, 1B
- Marcelo Mayer, SS
- Nick Yorke, 2B
- Jarren Duran, OF
- Brayan Bello, RHP
- Bryan Mata, RHP
- Jeter Downs, 2B/SS
- Blaze Jordan, 3B/1B
- Jay Groome, LHP
- Gilberto Jimenez, OF
- Wilkelman Gonzalez, RHP
- Connor Seabold, RHP
- Brandon Walter, LHP
- Josh Winckowski, RHP
- Noah Song, RHP
Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number 16 prospect. As a reminder, to do this you go down below and find the comment from me corresponding with the player for whom you’d like to vote. When you find said player, just click the “rec” button, and that will count your vote. To do this, you will need to be logged in as a member of the site. If you’d like to vote for a player who is not listed, just leave a comment saying “Vote for ___ here” and I’ll rec the comment to count your vote. We encourage discussion, of course, but please don’t comment under specific players’ names. Instead, scroll to the bottom to start a new comment thread in order to keep the players at the top of the comment section. Until next time...