Phillies take Noah Song in Rule 5 draft; Thad Ward goes No. 1

SAN DIEGO — The Washington Nationals chosen Thad Ward, a right-hander out of the Boston Pink Sox’s Triple-A affiliate, with the No. 1 total decide Wednesday within the Rule 5 draft. However essentially the most intriguing decide was the eleventh, which noticed the Philadelphia Phillies snag Noah Song, a once-promising beginning pitcher who has spent the previous three years in energetic army service.

Song, 25, was initially a fourth-round draft decide by the Pink Sox in 2019, when present Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was in cost. Song had graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, the place he principally dominated, then went to aviation faculty after solely seven skilled begins.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 200 kilos, Song was thought of a first-round expertise popping out of school, however he slipped to the fourth spherical partially due to the uncertainty of his baseball future.

“It was a fastball that was up to 99 and good secondaries, good feel to pitch,” Phillies normal supervisor Sam Fuld stated.

The Phillies do not know if they will have Song subsequent season; they nonetheless have lots of data to assemble, particularly on the standing of his waiver to defer his service, Fuld stated. Within the meantime, the Phillies positioned Song on the army listing in order that he wouldn’t rely towards their 40-man roster.

“There’s some uncertainty surrounding the pick, for sure,” Fuld stated. “But we feel like the upside of the player is enough to take a chance.”

The Nos. 2 to 7 picks within the Rule 5 draft went as follows: Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Ryan Noda to the Oakland Athletics; Dodgers left-hander Jose Hernandez to the Pittsburgh Pirates; Pirates proper fielder Blake Sabol to the Cincinnati Reds; Texas Rangers right-hander Mason Englert to the Detroit Tigers; Cleveland Guardians right-hander Kevin Kelly to the Colorado Rockies; Guardians right-hander Nic Enright to the Miami Marlins.

Ward, who will likely be 26 in January, was the Pink Sox’s minor league pitcher of the 12 months after a dominant season at each Class A ranges, then missed a lot of the subsequent two years, first due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 after which due to Tommy John surgical procedure in 2021. Ward got here again to make 13 begins in 2022, posting a 2.28 ERA with 66 strikeouts and 19 walks in 51⅓ innings. Ward then pitched 12⅔ innings within the Arizona Fall League, permitting 4 runs.

Rule 5 picks have to be saved on the energetic roster for the total season. Nationals president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo stated the staff will stretch Ward out in spring coaching and hope to make use of him as a multi-inning reliever.

“We kind of blended the upside of the pitcher with the certainty of making it easier to carry the player throughout the season,” Rizzo stated of the Nationals’ technique with the primary decide. “We like this player. We think he’s got more left in the tank. He’s a year farther removed from Tommy John surgery, he’s got a four-pitch mix, he’s around the plate, he’s got some pitchability and some stuff, and we think there’s a little more left in the tank.”