Hyun-jin Ryu

The native form of this personal name is Ryu Hyun-jin. This article uses the Western name order.
Hyun-jin Ryu

Ryu with the Los Angeles Dodgers in April 2013
Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 99
Starting pitcher
Born: (1987-03-25) March 25, 1987
Incheon, South Korea
Bats: Right Throws: Left
Professional debut
KBO: April 12, 2006, for the Hanwha Eagles
MLB: April 2, 2013, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
KBO statistics
Win–loss record 98–52
Earned run average 2.80
Strikeouts 1,238
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Win–loss record 28–16
Earned run average 3.28
Strikeouts 297
Career highlights and awards


  • KBO All-Star (2006–2012)
  • KBO MVP (2006)
  • KBO Rookie of the Year (2006)
  • 2× KBO Golden Glove award (2006, 2010)
  • KBO Triple Crown (2006)
  • 5× KBO strikeout champion (2006–2007, 2009–2010, 2012)
  • 2× KBO ERA champion (2006, 2010)
  • KBO wins champion (2006)
Medal record
Men's baseball
Representing  South Korea
Olympic Games
2008 Beijing Team
World Baseball Classic
2009 Los Angeles Team
Asian Games
2006 Doha Team
2010 Guangzhou Team
Hyun-jin Ryu
Revised Romanization Yu Hyeon-jin
McCune–Reischauer Ryu Hyŏn-jin

Hyun-jin Ryu (Hangul: 류현진; born March 25, 1987) is a South Korean professional baseball starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball. In 2013, after spending seven seasons with the Hanwha Eagles of KBO League, Ryu became the first player from the KBO to join an 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 towards a master's degree in community physical education in Daejeon University.



In 2004, Ryu underwent Tommy John surgery and did not pitch in any official games. 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 (Taiwan), 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 eight13 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 League 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 Summer 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 813 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.[1]


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 (2013–present)

Ryu pitching at Dodger Stadium in April 2013.

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 drop out after the 5th year if certain performance benchmarks were reached (750 innings pitched by year 5, an average of 150 innings/year).[2]

On March 17, 2013, Ryu recorded his first win as a Dodger, albeit, in a spring training game on St. Patrick's Day. He allowed just one run in 5⅔ innings, and retired the final 11 men he faced. He struck out six and allowed just five to reach base.[3]


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.[4] Ryu picked up his first Major League win on April 7 over the Pittsburgh Pirates.[5] 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.[6] This game was also his 100th career win, in South Korea and the U.S. combined.[7]

On May 1, 2013, Ryu pitched six innings against the Colorado Rockies and struck out 12 batters, his highest strikeout count in an MLB game so far.[8]

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.[9] 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".[10]

On October 6, 2013, Ryu became the first South Korean to serve as the starting pitcher of a Major League Baseball postseason game.[11]


In his first start of the 2014 season in Sydney, Australia, Ryu held the D-backs scoreless in five innings of work.[12] He proceeded to start 26 games for the Dodgers in 2014, despite missing time with various injuries. He finished 14–7 with a 3.38 ERA.


Ryu began spring training with optimism that he would be able to pitch a career high 200 innings in 2015. However, he was shut down early in camp with back tightness, though he said he wasn't concerned by it.[13] When he started throwing again he experienced a sore shoulder and the Dodgers decided to shut him down for two weeks.[14] He started the season on the disabled list and despite reporting himself pain free in April, the Dodgers decided to take a cautious route with him as he had shoulder pain sporadically during the previous season.[15] He was placed on the 60-day disabled list on May 4[16] and the Dodgers noted a lack of velocity in his bullpen session soon afterwards, causing his rehab to be shut down.[17] He decided to have surgery on the shoulder to alleviate the problem.[18] The surgery revealed that he needed his left shoulder labrum repaired, which was done on May 21, ending his chances of pitching during the 2015 season.[19]


Ryu eventually rejoined the Dodgers on July 7, 2016, and started against the San Diego Padres.[20] He allowed eight hits, four of them for extra bases in 423 innings of a 6-0 loss.[21] However, he reported elbow discomfort after the game and was placed back on the disabled list.[22] On September 28, he underwent debridement surgery on his left elbow.[23]


A banner supporting Ryu hangs in Koreatown in Los Angeles in July 2013.

Ryu enjoys a 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.[24]

Pitching style

Ryu is a 6 ft 3 in, 250 lb left-handed pitcher.[25] He throws a fastball between 89-92 mph (tops out at 95 mph), a curveball, a slider, and a deceptive changeup.[26] Scouts say that the changeup is his best pitch and is a legitimate out-pitch at the big league level.[27][28]

Career statistics

Korea Baseball Organization

2006 Hanwha 18 6 2.23 30 28 6 1 1 201.2 159 57 50 11 2 52 3 204 .221 1.05
2007 17 7 2.94 30 30 6 1 0 211.0 195 74 69 15 3 68 4 178 .251 1.25
2008 14 7 3.31 26 26 2 1 0 165.2 144 66 61 12 1 67 2 143 .240 1.27
2009 13 12 3.57 28 27 4 2 0 189.1 180 80 75 19 2 67 3 188 .254 1.30
2010 16 4 1.82 25 25 5 3 0 192.2 149 42 39 11 9 45 2 187 .220 1.01
2011 11 7 3.36 24 18 3 0 0 126.0 101 54 47 12 1 38 0 128 .217 1.10
2012 9 9 2.66 27 27 1 0 0 182.2 153 58 54 12 5 46 6 210 .232 1.09
TOTAL 98 52 2.80 190 181 27 8 1 1269 1081 431 395 92 23 383 20 1238 .234 1.15

Notable international competitions

Year Venue Competition Team Individual Note
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)


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiwVuHxY-mw
  2. Gurnick, Ken (December 10, 2012). "Dodgers reach agreement with starter Ryu". Dodgers.MLB.com. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  3. "Dodgers spring training 2013: Adrian Gonzalez, Hyun-jin Ryu shine in win over Brewers". TrueblueLA.com. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  4. Giants 3, Dodgers 0
  5. Gonzo fuels Dodgers' attack in sweep of Bucs
  6. Hyun-jin Ryu better than advertised in Dodgers' 7-5 win over Diamondbacks
  7. "류현진, 대망의 한미 통산 100승까지 걸어온 길". OSEN. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  8. "Ryu Hyun-jin strikes out 12 in 6 innings". Xports sports. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  9. "Hyun-jin Ryu shuts out Angels in signature performance". SB Nation. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  10. Eddy, Matt (October 3, 2013). "2013 Major League All-Rookie Team". Baseball America.com. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  11. Ryu Hyun-jin gets no-decision in first big league postseason start. Korean Herald. October 7, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  12. "Ryu again proves too much for D-backs to handle". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  13. Hernandez, Dylan (February 25, 2015). "Back tightness sidelines Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu, but he's not worried". LA Times. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  14. "Dodgers' Ryu to Rest Shoulder". NY Times. Associated Press. March 25, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  15. Hoornstra, JP (April 19, 2015). "Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu's shoulder pain-free, timetable uncertain". LA Daily News. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  16. Gurnick, Ken (May 4, 2015). "Ryu moved to 60-day DL". mlb.com. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  17. Stephen, Eric (May 6, 2015). "Hyun-jin Ryu has setback in rehab from shoulder injury". SB Nation. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  18. Saxon, Mark (May 19, 2015). "Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu to have surgery, may be lost for season". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  19. Hoornstra, JP (May 21, 2015). "Hyun-Jin Ryu has his left shoulder labrum repaired, won't return until 2016.". LA Daily News. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
  20. Weisman, Jon (July 7, 2016). "Dodgers activate Hyun-Jin Ryu, call up Carlos Frias". Dodgers.com. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  21. McCullough, Andy (July 7, 2016). "Hyun-Jin Ryu returns for Dodgers, but his velocity is lacking in loss to Padres, 6-0". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  22. Stephen, Eric (July 19, 2016). "Hyun-jin Ryu scratched from Wednesday start, out indefinitely with reported elbow discomfort". SB Nation. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  23. Hoornstra, J.P. (September 28, 2016). "Hyun-Jin Ryu has debridement procedure on left elbow". LA Daily News. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  24. "A.J. Ellis' career-best 5 RBIs help Dodgers roll Blue Jays".
  25. Ryu Hyun-jin – mlb.com.
  26. FanGraphs Pitch Type
  27. Eun Yong, Yoon (26 April 2013). "The best pitching Ryu Hyunjin, there are three big chances to win".
  28. "Who Are Ya: Hyun-Jin Ryu". Jul 22, 2013.
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