Pitcher Noah Song signed his first pro contract, but the Boston Red Sox aren't quite sure how long it will be before he could wind up on the Fenway Park mound.
Under current rules, the 6-foot-4 Song, who pitched for Navy, must spend at least two years on his naval commitments before he can seek to serve the remainder of his five-year commitment in the reserves.
He will play for Short Season Class A Lowell this summer and is scheduled to report to Pensacola, Fla., on Nov. 1 to begin training as a flight officer.
But on June 26, President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum giving the Pentagon 120 days to draft a policy that would allow athletes from the military academies to delay their service obligations and play professional sports after graduation.
"These student-athletes should be able to defer their military service obligations until they have completed their professional sports careers," Trump wrote in the memorandum, contending athletes have "a short window" to compete.
In the Obama administration, athletes were allowed to seek reserve status that, if granted, would allow them to enter professional sports immediately after graduation.
Under the direction of former Defense Secretary James Mattis, Pentagon officials reversed the policy, however.
"Our military academies exist to develop future officers who enhance the readiness and the lethality of our military services," Pentagon officials wrote in May 2017 announcing they were rescinding the Obama-era policy. "Graduates enjoy the extraordinary benefit of a military academy education at taxpayer expense."
In May, Trump presented the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the Army football team and said at the time that he was considering the change.
For the Midshipmen in 2019, Song was 11-1 in 14 starts with a 1.44 ERA. He struck out 161 batters in just 94 innings and threw six complete games.
He was one of four finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's top amateur player. The winner was Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 overall selection in the draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
Throughout his four seasons at Navy, he was 32-13 with 14 complete games and nine shutouts.
--Field Level Media