HYUN-JIN RYU
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   LHP
Home: N/A Team:   DODGERS
Height: 6' 3" Bats:   R
Weight: 255 Throws:   L
DOB: 3/25/1987 Agent: Scott Boras
Uniform #: 99  
Birth City: Incheon, South Korea
Draft: 2012 - Dodgers - Out of South Korea
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2009 KOR Hanwha Eagles   28 28 180 188         0 13 12   3.57
2010 JAP Hanwha Eagles                            
2011 JAP Hanwha Eagles                            
2012 JAP Hanwha Eagles     183   210           9 9   2.66
2013 NL DODGERS   30 192 182 154 49 30 2 1 0 14 8 0.252 3.00
2014 NL DODGERS   26 152 152 139 29 26 0 0 0 14 7 0.257 3.38
2015 NL DODGERS - DL $4,833.00                          
2016 PCL OKLAHOMA CITY   3 9.2 17 9 0 3 0 0 0 0 1   8.38
2016 CAL RANCHO CUCAMONGA   5 18 15 14 1 5 0 0 0 1 1   2.00
2016 NL DODGERS $7,830.00 1 4.2 8 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.364 11.57
2017 NL DODGERS $7,833.00 25 126.2 128 116 45 24 0 0 1 5 9 0.263 3.77
2018 PCL OKLAHOMA CITY   1 5 5 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 1   1.80
2018 CAL RANCHO CUCAMONGA   1 4 2 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2018 NL DODGERS   15 82.1 68 89 15 15 0 0 0 7 3 0.221 1.97
2019 NL DODGERS   27 168.2 149 148 24 27 1 1 0 12 5 0.235 2.35
Today's Game Notes
  • Sept 11, 2019: Hyun-Jin Ryu's hair color isn't the only thing that's changed. (It’s gray now.) He's been focused on sharpening his mechanics during his brief reset period, as his spot in the rotation was skipped during this series against the Orioles. Ryu will hopefully see the benefits of that tinkering when he returns to the rotation in New York, manager Dave Roberts said. The Dodgers believe that it is indeed mechanics -- not fatigue -- that contributed to their National League Cy Young Award contender’s 9.95 ERA across his four past outings, despite the fact that this is just the second time the lefty has eclipsed 160 innings in a season.

    “I think that Hyun-Jin is just so physical, he’s strong and he works hard,” Roberts said. “I think that there is something to [his] changeup just being up three more inches that it typically is, and at the big league level, that’s a big deal. And [his] fastball being three inches off the plate, that’s a big deal. I do think that it’s not a velocity thing, it’s not a stuff thing -- it’s just more of an execution.”

    Proving Roberts' point, Ryu has not seen a discernible dip in his velocity across most pitch types his past few outings. If anything, velocity has been up, for the most part.

    But after a bullpen session at Camden Yards that tested some of the tinkering, Ryu has a set date when he'll try to end to this trying stretch of four outings, during which his ERA increased an entire run, from 1.45 to 2.45. And he’ll do so opposite Jacob deGrom, whose 2.70 ERA puts him right up there with Ryu in the Cy Young conversation.

    "I really can’t speak to the specifics of it,” Roberts said of Ryu’s adjustments. “I actually haven’t been a part of the last two. I know he feels good with what they’re working on, and hopefully it shows.”

    And when the cap comes off, the new ’do will show, too.

    “He said it’s kind of like a shade of gray, I guess,” Roberts laughed. “I’m doing my own version of a shade of gray. Hopefully the change in hair color leads to more success.”

Personal
  • Ryu is pronounced: REE-ooo.

  • Ryu is a goofy lefthander. He reminds people of David Wells a bit, because he is quite portly. Ryu will have to keep an eye on his weight and conditioning.

  • In 2006, Hyun-Jin became the first South Korean player to be named the Korean league's rookie of the year and MVP in the same season. He went 18-6, 2.23 ERA, with 205 strikeouts in 202 innings. He the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts. He was only 19 years old.

  • Ryu was the star as Korea surprised everyone to beat Cuba and win gold at the 2008 Olympics. He went 2-0, 1.04 in the tournament, including a masterful 8 1/3 innings in the gold-medal winning 3-2 win over Cuba.

    Then, Hyun-Jin played a very important, but slightly subordinate role to Jung Keun Bong at the World Baseball Classic, as the more veteran lefthander was called on to face Japan on three separate occasions (going 2-1) on his way to a World Baseball Classic all-tournament team selection.

  • Hyun-Jin became a posted player from the Korean Baseball Organization in the winter before 2012 spring training.

    The Dodgers have known Ryu since he was in high school and followed him throughout his pro career in Korea. He is the first professional from Korea to go directly into the Major Leagues.

  • Hyun-Jin led the Korean Baseball Organization in strikeouts five times in his seven seasons, including 2012 with 210 in 183 innings, and compiled a 98-52, 2.80 ERA.

    Some Major League teams were wary of his workload in Korea, where he logged 1,269 innings in seven years from ages 19-25, combined with his having had Tommy John surgery as an amateur. He threw more than 200 innings in each of his first two KBO seasons at ages 19 and 20.

  • In 2013, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Ryu as the #1 prospect in the Dodgers' organization.

  • He is a very funny guy. And his friendly manner also quickly endeared him to everyone in the Dodgers 2013 spring training camp.
  • As the story goes, Ryu is a natural righthander. But the first baseball glove he was given by his father was a lefthander's glove for his right hand, so Ryu taught himself to throw lefthanded. When he bats, it's righthanded.

  • "He's a superstar in Korea, but he's sensitive to the feelings of his teammates and does not want to do anything unacceptable," said Sun-Hoon Lee of Korean network SBS. "He's very humble and humorous. If he learns English, he'll be a very fun guy. He looks lazy, but he's not."

  • What's been the biggest difference for Ryu in his transition from Korea? "In Korea I could get away with a mistake or two, but here I've noticed that when I make a mistake it's a home run," he said.
  • One of Ryu's big concerns in starting his 2013 MLB career playing in the US for the first time, is that he has not picked up a bat for the last seven years in Korea because they always use a DH in their leagues.

  • Hyun-Jin led the Korean Baseball Organization in strikeouts five times in his seven seasons (including 2012 with 210 in 183 innings). He compiled a 98-52 record, with a 2.80 ERA.

    Some Major League teams were wary of his workload in Korea, where he logged 1,269 innings in seven years from ages 19-25, combined with his having had Tommy John surgery as an amateur. He threw more than 200 innings in each of his first two KBO seasons at ages 19 and 20.

  • Ryu has some athleticism, but he is chunky and will have to keep an eye on his weight and conditioning.

  • He is a very funny guy.

  • As the story goes, Ryu is a natural righthander. But the first baseball glove he was given by his father was a lefthander's glove for his right hand, so Ryu taught himself to throw lefthanded. When he bats, it's righthanded.

  • Hyun-Ju is admired in his native land. "He's a superstar in Korea, but he's sensitive to the feelings of his teammates and does not want to do anything unacceptable," said Sun-Hoon Lee of Korean network SBS. "He's very humble and humorous. If he learns English, he'll be a very fun guy. He looks lazy, but he's not."

  • April 30, 2013: Psy was an international phenomenon, and if you remember, the Korean pop star had one of his more memorable "Gangnam Style" performances at Dodger Stadium in 2012.

    So, the singer returned to meet and receive a replica jersey from starting pitcher (and fellow countryman) Hyun-Jin Ryu.

    The two Korean superstars met on the field after the game.

    Ryu seemed nearly as excited about meeting Psy as beating the Rockies. The pair exchanged gifts and made plans for dinner in what turned into a bonanza for the roughly 50 Korean media.

    "He's a worldwide, global star," said Ryu. "I realize tonight he's a far bigger star than I am."

  • Off the mound, teammates describe Ryu—nicknamed “Korean Monster”—as laid-back, well-liked and funny, adjectives not typically associated with previous ballplayers from Asia, who were more often deemed diligent and hardworking. Footage of him doing Psy’s “Gangnam Style” dance or bearhugging teammates in the dugout now crowd out the earlier jeering at Dodger Stadium. “He’s always laughing and smiling,” says Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. “It’s just a little different from players I’ve had, like Hideki Matsui, Chien-Ming Wang, and Chan Ho Park.”

    Ryu has a great personality and relates well to his teammates.

  • He has been around the game a long time, so he knows how to prepare for his starts. He is a professional and he has a strong work ethic.

  • On October 6, 2013, Ryu became the first South Korean to serve as the starting pitcher of a Major League Baseball postseason game.

  • January 5, 2014: The folks at record company ALLKpop posted Ryu's second single, "Small Moon," calling it "a song to give hope and courage to all the youth who are hoping to take after Ryu Hyun Jin's footsteps."

  • February 10, 2014: A fitter Ryu took the field for his first workout in 2014. Ryu had said he was "underprepared" in 2013 after a harried contract negotiation, vowing he would be in better shape this time around. "All kidding aside," Ryu said, "(2013) was trying with the contract, and I didn't' get a head start. I've had more time to prepare this year."

    Ryu, listed at 255 pounds by the team, said he's "significantly lighter compared to last year," but "only I know" how much lighter. Ryu did give an assist to teammates Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke for the examples they set.

    "Absolutely, working hard is very contagious," he said. "My teammates definitely push me. At the end of the day, you have to do it yourself. I just try to be in the best shape I can. I'm an athlete; it's my job to be in the best condition." (Gurnick - mlb.com - 2/09/14)

  • Ryu is a popular pitch-man in South Korea. In recent years, he has endorsed a barbecue chicken chain, Hanmi Bank and ramen noodles.

  • Jan. 2018: Ryu and his wife Bae got married.

  • July 2019: Ryu represented the Dodgers at the All-Star Game. He matched his first-half play, becoming the first Korean player to start an All-Star Game and checking in with a scoreless inning.

    TRANSACTIONS 

  • November 11, 2012: The Dodgers were the winning bidder for Ryu. The Dodgers' bid, reportedly for about $25,737,737, was accepted by Ryu's team, the Hanwha Eagles. The Dodgers have an exclusive 30-day window to negotiate a contract with the pitcher and his agent, Scott Boras. If no deal is reached, Ryu would return to the Eagles and could not participate in another posting process until after the 2013 season.

    December 9, 2012: The Dodgers barely beat the 2:00 p.m. PT deadline at the end of the exclusive 30-day negotiating window the Dodgers won by posting a fee of $25.7 million that will go to Ryu's Korean team, the Hanwha Eagles. Hyun-Jin signed with the Dodgers for six years and $36 million. Ryu's contract includes a $5 million signing bonus and up to $1 million a year in bonuses for innings pitched but does not have a no-trade clause.

  • Oct 29, 2018: Ryu chose free agency.

  • Nov 12, 2018: Hyun-Jin Ryu took the qualifying offer—a one-year contract worth $17.9 million (the mean salary of MLB's 125 highest-paid players).

    He will become only the sixth player among the 80 to receive offers since 2012 to accept. None of the other six free agents who received offers late in 2018 accepted them.

Pitching
  • Ryu has a four-pitch repertoire: an 86-94 mph FASTBALL with late cutting action that he can add and subtract from. He also has a slow 68-70 mph CURVEBALL that is just for show, a tight and crisp 81-84 mph slurvy-SLIDER that is a quality pitch, and a plus CHANGEUP that scouts call a 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale due partly for the way he sells it with very good arm speed.

    His sharp slider has late break when it is "on." But he gets around the ball when he is not able to pitch  out front, causing the slider to get slurvy. He gets good arm speed on his fading changeup, eliciting some swings and misses with it.

  • 2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 56.5% of the time; Change 18.8%; Slider 11.8%; and his Curve 12.9% of the time.

  • 2018 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 33.2% of the time; Sinker 5.4%; Change 17.7%; Slider less than 1%; Curve 18.5%; and Cutter 24.5% of the time. Average velocity: 4-seam 91.1 mph, Sinker 90.3, Change 81.7, Slider 80.4, Curve 74.2, and Cutter 87.7 mph.

  • Hyun-Jin has excellent pitch ability. His feel for the pitching craft is probably his biggest asset. Ryu spots his fastball with precision to both sides of the plate, attacks righthanded hitters on the inner half and doesn’t make too many mistakes out over the middle of the plate.

    Ryu throws his changeup with good arm speed, gets good separation on it from his fastball and uses it to get most of his swings and misses.

  • Ryu is a good all-around athlete for his size. That allows him to consistently repeat his delivery. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot on a good downhill plane. It is an easy, calm delivery.

  • Hyun-Jin has a portly build that scouts say he will have to keep in check, but his beefiness doesn’t prevent him from being able repeat his delivery and throw strikes, as scouts have commented that he has good body control and is more athletic than his doughy physique would suggest. His arm action is clean and his mechanics are sound. He does throw a little bit across his body and can get a bit upright in his delivery, but it doesn’t hinder his ability to throw the ball with downhill plane.

    Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sees some of David Wells in Ryu, both physically and in pitching style and repertoire.

  • Ryu is a #2 or a #3 starter, most baseball people feel. He fits well in the Dodger rotation behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

  • The South Korean earned his first Major League victory on April 7, 2013.

  • April 25, 2013, Mets first baseman Ike Davis said of Ryu: "First time seeing him, his slider is pretty deceptive because it did two things. Sometimes he threw one that just went straight across, and then the other one would have depth. I think we only had three hits off him. One was a broken bat and the other one was a little soft liner to right. We didn't find a lot of barrels off him."

  • June 6, 2013: "He (Ryu) is more of an artist for me than a thrower, uses both sides of the plate, pitches inside, uses the changeup," Dodger manager Don Mattingly said. "It's the art of pitching, not just radar guns and things like that."

  • 2018 Changes: Although his two-seam fastball remains the top priority, Ryu is trying to tighten the spin of his deep-count curveball and provide a different look to hitters than the one he's been using since turning pro in Korea in 2006. (Ken Gurnick -MLB.com-March 11, 2018)

  • As of the start of the 2019 season, Ryu has a career record of 40-28 with 3.20 ERA, having allowed 55 home runs and 538 hits in 557 innings.

  • March 22, 2019:  Hyun-Jin Ryu to start Opening Day for the Dodgers, manager Dave Roberts announced. Ryu's start will come against the D-backs March 28 at Dodger Stadium.

  • March 28, 2019: With Clayton Kershaw and Sandy Koufax watching and his teammates conducting their own Home Run Derby for support, substitute starter Hyun-Jin Ryu upheld the Dodgers' tradition of dominant left-handed pitching on Opening Day. The fourth choice to get the season started, Ryu limited the D-backs to one run over six innings with eight strikeouts and no walks in a dominant 12-5 win at Dodger Stadium. At one point, he retired 13 consecutive batters. Former Dodger Zack Greinke, who allowed four of the Dodgers' MLB Opening Day record eight homers in 3 2/3 innings, took the loss.

    “His heartbeat is so consistent, and he never lets nerves or pressure get to him,” said manager Dave Roberts. “He was in complete command, both sides of the plate. Toward the second, third time around, he started using the top part of the zone. He made those guys feel him inside to open the outside part of the plate. He was just real good.”

    Ryu was making the first Dodgers Opening Day start by a Korean since Chan Ho Park in 2001. And the first Opening Day NOT started by Kershaw since 2010. He drew the assignment because injuries left Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Rich Hill unable to take the ball.

    “I was feeling good from the get-go, and getting that run support from my teammates definitely helped me in terms of getting in a good groove,” said Ryu. “From that point on, it was very comfortable because we had the lead and I felt good.” (K Gurnick - MLB.com - March 28, 2019)

  • May 7, 2019: Ryu pitched a four-hit masterpiece in a 9-0 win over the Braves, the shutout doubling for his first complete game since 2013, the team’s first complete game since Aug. 23, 2017 (Rich Hill), and its first shutout since May 3, 2016 (Clayton Kershaw). (Ken Gurnick-MLB.com)

  • May 13, 2019: Ryu took home NL Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career after throwing 17 scoreless innings with 15 strikeouts, one walk, and only five hits allowed over two starts.

  • Aug 11, 2019: “It’s an absolute display of the art of pitching,” Turner said of Ryu’s latest masterpiece. “He can pitch to all four quadrants, his command has been great all year. Vintage Ryu. Changing speeds, keeping guys off-balance. He’s like Houdini when he gets in trouble; he finds a way out of it.”


    Ryu improved to 12-2 with an MLB-best 1.45 ERA after scattering five hits in his first start since missing 10 days with a sore neck. The Dodgers single-season ERA record for a starter is 1.58, set by Rube Marquard in 1916. Sandy Koufax’s best was 1.73; Clayton Kershaw’s was 1.69.

Fielding
  • Hyun-Jin is a good fielding pitcher.
  • Ryu's .181 batting average over the two seasons 2013-2014 ranked 9th in baseball among pitchers.
Career Injury Report
  • 2004: Ryu underwent Tommy John surgery while in high school.

  • May 2-21, 2014: Ryu went on the 15 day D.L. with left shoulder inflammation. It was not that serious of an injury.

    August 15-31, 2014: Hyun-Jin was on the D.L. with two strained muscles in his right buttocks. He was injured while pitching to a hitter. An MRI showed Grade 1-2 strains of the gluteus medius and piriformis muscles.

    But the Dodgers cleared Ryu to pitch game 3 of the NL Division Series vs. the Cardinals on October 6, 2014.

  • March 20, 2015: Hyun-Jin reported tightness in his shoulder, received an anti-inflammatory injection and began the season on the D.L. with shoulder inflammation.

    "We kind of know what this is. We've dealt with it before and he's bounced back," L.A. manager Don Mattingly said. "Obviously, you're still going to be concerned and make sure you're cautious."

    May 4, 2015: The Dodgers moved Ryu to the 60-day disabled list.

    May 20, 2015: Ryu decided on season ending shoulder surgery.

    May 21, 2015: Ryu underwent left shoulder surgery for a torn labrum and should be ready for Spring Training 2016, manager Don Mattingly said. 

    May 7, 2016: Ryu continues on the DL from left shoulder surgery in 2015.

  • July 19-Nov 7, 2016: Ryu was on the DL with left elbow tendonitis.

  • May 1-11, 2017: Ryu was on the DL with left hip contusion.

  • July 4-24, 2017: The Dodgers placed  Ryu on the 10-day disabled list with a left foot contusion. 

  • May 3-Aug 15, 2018: Ryu was on the DL with a left groin strain.

  • April 8, 2019: Ryu may have been on his way to delivering on his manager’s prediction " to get a lot of outs,'' before leaving the 4-3 loss to the Cardinals in the second inning with a left groin strain. It is the same injury that landed Ryu on the injured list from May 3 to Aug. 15 last season.

    “It was different from the pain I felt last year,” Ryu said through an interpreter. “It was more of a precautionary measure to come out of the game. So compared to the left groin injury I had last year, right now I feel better.”

    April 9-20, 2019: Ryu was on the IL with left groin strain.

  • Aug 1-11, 2019; Ryu was on the IL with neck soreness.