Will we see another Korean player wearing the Taegeuk mark in the future?
On the 23rd (hereafter referred to as Korean time), the US’ESPN’ reported that ‘Right-handed pitcher Noah Song (26) will be converted to the reserve after serving as an active duty soldier and will join the Philadelphia Phillies spring camp.’
Korean pitcher Noah Song, born to a Korean father and an American mother who immigrated to the United States at the age of five, has a unique career. He topped his college career as a Naval Academy cadet. For four years, he played 58 games (54 starts), 334⅓ innings, 32 wins, 13 losses, an ERA of 2.37, 428 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.04.
With a 193cm and 90kg physique, Song’s potential to throw up to 159km of fastball was evaluated as a second-round draft. However, due to the limitations of his status as a military academy and the uncertainty about his future in the military, he was selected in the fourth round by the Boston Red Sox in the 2019 draft. He was the third draft pick ever from the Naval Academy.
Afterwards, he recorded an average ERA of 1.06 (2 earned runs in 17 innings) and 19 strikeouts in 7 games without a win or loss in the lower single A, and also played for the US national team in the 2019 WBSC Premier12. The tournament record was 5⅓ innings, 1 hit, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, no runs.
However, Song’s major league challenge was marked with a comma. Song entered the Naval Flight Academy in 2020 after the US Department of Defense rejected Song’s deferral application. Ultimately, Song underwent 18 months of flight school training.
However, after 18 months of training and completion of flight school, he gave up his service as an officer, and the Navy also accepted Song’s request, and Song continued his major league challenge. However, he is not a complete veteran. He must continue his service as a reserve. ‘ESPN’ explained, ‘Once a month, two weekends a year on duty, he can resume his baseball career.’
Song, who was drafted by Boston, was selected by Philadelphia in the Rule 5 draft held last year. However, Philadelphia should keep Song on their 26-man roster this year. If Song does not stand out in spring camp, he must be traded or waived. In the waiver, if all other clubs do not claim, they may return to their original club, Boston. 안전놀이터
Since there was a hiatus for about three years, Song’s future cannot be guaranteed. But the potential he has is so great. Even if he only shows his former self, he could make a soft landing in the major leagues. He is expected to see another Korean player in the major leagues.
Tommy Edman (St. Louis), who became the national representative of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) this year, has a Korean mother. His middle name is ‘Hyeonsu’, which maintains his Korean identity. In addition, Dane Dunning (Texas), Mitch White (Toronto), and Rob Lefsnyder (Boston) are continuing the legacy of Korean players. Noah Song can also be named here.
If Song recovers his skills and unleashes his potential and makes a soft landing in the major leagues, he can envision a scene as a Korean player in the next WBC tournament. Can we expect a ‘second Edman’ from Noah Song?