Ryu with the Los Angeles Dodgers in April 2013
|Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 99|
March 25, 1987 |
Incheon, South Korea
|Bats: Right||Throws: Left|
|KBO: April 12, 2006 for the Hanwha Eagles|
|MLB: April 2, 2013 for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
(through 2012 season)
|Earned run average||2.80|
(through 2013 season)
|Earned run average||3.00|
|Career highlights and awards|
|World Baseball Classic|
|Silver||2009 Los Angeles||Team|
Hyun-jin Ryu (Hangul: 류현진 ; Hanja: 柳賢振; born March 25, 1987) is a South Korean left-handed starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball. In 2013, after spending seven seasons with the Hanwha Eagles of KBO, Ryu became the first player from the KBO to join a MLB team via the posting system. Ryu was also the first South Korean to serve as the starting pitcher of a Major League Baseball postseason game.
Early life and education
Ryu was born in Incheon, South Korea on March 25, 1987, and attended Incheon's Dongsan High School. He is working[when?] towards a master's degree in community physical education in Daejeon University.
In 2004, Ryu underwent Tommy John surgery and didn't pitch in any official games as a result. In 2005, he led his team to the Blue Dragon Open National High School Championship, pitching 22 consecutive scoreless innings as the team's ace and batting .389 in the tournament. He was named Best Pitcher.
In 2005, Ryu was selected for the South Korea national junior team that was runner-up in the 6th Asian Junior Baseball Championship in Seoul, South Korea. Ryu started the semifinal match against Chinese Taipei, and helped his team reach the final, recording ten strikeouts and giving up one unearned run on four hits in six innings. During the competition, he pitched eight1⁄3 innings with 14 strikeouts, and gave up an unearned run on five hits in three games (one start).
Hanwha Eagles (2006–2012)
In July 2005, Ryu was selected by the Hanwha Eagles as the 1st pick in the second round of the 2006 KBO Draft, and made his professional debut on April 12, 2006. In his rookie year of 2006, Ryu finished with an 18–6 win-loss record, a 2.23 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 201.2 innings pitched. He earned the pitching Triple Crown, and was eventually named both Rookie of the year and Player of the Year. He became the only player in KBO history to win both the Rookie of the Year award and the MVP award in the same season.
In August 2008, Ryu competed for the South Korea national baseball team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where they won the gold medal in the baseball tournament. In the team's third game of round-robin play, Ryu pitched a 1–0 complete game shutout victory over Canada, giving up five hits. In the gold medal game against Cuba, he pitched 81⁄3 innings, allowing two earned runs in a 3–2 victory.
In March 2009, he represented the South Korea national baseball team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, where the team was the runner-up to the eventual champion, Japan. In 2010, Ryu played in the 2010 Asian Games, where the South Korea national baseball team won the gold medal in baseball. On May 11, 2010, Ryu became the first pitcher in history to strike out 17 batters in a nine-inning game, against the LG Twins at Cheongju Sports Complex - Baseball Stadium.
In 2012, Ryu finished with a 2.66 ERA and 210 strikeouts, but earned only a 9-9 win-loss record and ten no decisions. Ryu repeatedly expressed his desire to play in the United States for Major League Baseball and scouts from many MLB teams visited Korea to see Ryu's pitching. Finally, on October 29, 2012, the Eagles announced that Ryu would be posted as early as November 1, 2012 to allow MLB teams to bid for the rights to negotiate with him.
Los Angeles Dodgers
On November 9, 2012, the Eagles accepted the reported bid of $25,737,737.33 from the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving them a 30-day period to try to negotiate a contract with Ryu. On December 9, he was signed to a 6 year, $36 million deal, that included the option to opt out after the 5th year if certain performance benchmarks were reached (750 innings pitched by year 5, an average of 150 innings/year).
Ryu made his Major League Baseball debut in a start against the San Francisco Giants on April 2, 2013. He allowed 10 hits in 6.1 innings but only one earned run. Ryu picked up his first Major League win on April 7 over the Pittsburgh Pirates. On April 13 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he recorded his first major league hit with a double in the third inning. He wound up 3 for 3 at the plate in the game, the first Dodgers pitcher to get three hits in a game since Randy Wolf in 2009. This game was also his 100th career win, in South Korea and the U.S. combined.
On May 28, 2013, Ryu pitched a complete game shutout against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, striking out seven batters, walking none, and conceding only two hits. It was the first shutout in Ryu's MLB career and the first shutout for a Korean-born pitcher since Chan-Ho Park and Sun-Woo Kim. In 30 starts with the Dodgers in 2013, Ryu was 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA. He was selected by Baseball America to their annual "All-Rookie team".
While there have been South Korean players in the MLB, such as Chan Ho Park and Shin-Soo Choo, Ryu enjoys an almost unprecedented popularity amongst South Korean baseball players, drawing South Korean fans as well as fans of Korean ancestry in nearly every stadium he pitches in. This may be attributed to South Korea's rise as a global baseball power, leading to a rise in popularity of the sport in South Korea beginning in the 2000s and 2010s.
On July 22, 2013, after a 14-5 win against the Toronto Blue Jays played at Rogers Centre, several hundred fans of Korean ancestry stayed after the game to give Ryu a standing ovation, a common practice during the game, but a noted rarity for such an ovation to occur after the game has been completed.
Ryu is a 6 ft 2 in, 255 lb left-handed pitcher. He throws a fastball around 90 mph (tops out at 95 mph), a decent curveball, a slider, and a deceptive changeup. Scouts say that the changeup is his best pitch and is a legitimate out-pitch at the big league level.
In popular culture
Korea Baseball Organization
Notable international competitions
|2005||South Korea||Asian Junior Baseball Championship||0–0; 0.00 ERA (3 G, 8.1 IP, 0 ER, 14 K)|
|2006||Qatar||Asian Games||0–0; 9.95 ERA (2 G, 6.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 K)|
|2007||Chinese Taipei||Asian Baseball Championship||1–0; 0.00 ERA (1 G, 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 K)|
|2008||Chinese Taipei||Final Olympic Qualification Tournament||0–1; 3.00 ERA (2 G, 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 K)|
|2008||China||Olympic Games||2–0; 1.04 ERA (2 G, 17.1 IP, 2 ER, 13 K)|
|2009||United States||World Baseball Classic||1–0; 2.57 ERA (5 G, 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 K)|
|2010||China||Asian Games||1–0; 3.60 ERA (2 G, 10.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 K)|
- Gurnick, Ken (December 10, 2012). "Dodgers reach agreement with starter Ryu". Dodgers.MLB.com. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
- Giants 3, Dodgers 0
- Gonzo fuels Dodgers' attack in sweep of Bucs
- Hyun-jin Ryu better than advertised in Dodgers' 7-5 win over Diamondbacks
- "류현진, 대망의 한미 통산 100승까지 걸어온 길". OSEN. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- "Ryu Hyun-jin strikes out 12 in 6 innings". Xports sports. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- "yun-jin Ryu shuts out Angels in signature performance". SB Nation. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- Eddy, Matt (October 3, 2013). "2013 Major League All-Rookie Team". Baseball America.com. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- Ryu Hyun-jin gets no-decision in first big league postseason start Korean Herald October 7, 2013 http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20131007000608 Retrieved October 7, 2013
- "A.J. Ellis' career-best 5 RBIs help Dodgers roll Blue Jays".
-  Ryu Hyun-jin - mlb.com.
- Eun Yong, Yoon (26). The best pitching Ryu Hyunjin, there are three big chances to win.
- "Who Are Ya: Hyun-Jin Ryu". Jul 22 2013.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Hyun-Jin Ryu on Twitter