Hyun-jin Ryu is a professional baseball pitcher from South Korea. He currently plays for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Called Ryu Hyun-jin in his native language, he played in the Korea Baseball Championship for quite a while before being drafted into the Major League Baseball.
He is impressively the first Korean pitcher to pitch in Major League Baseball.
Here are some quick facts about Hyun-jin Ryu
|Date Of Birth
|March 25, 1987
|Place Of Birth
|Incheon, South Korea
|35 Years Old
|1; Lucy Ryu
|6 feet and 3 inches
|Toronto Blue Jays
Early Life, Childhood, and Education with Hyun-Jin Ryu
South Korean-born Hyun-Jin Ryu was born on March 25, 1987. Ryu’s father, Jae-Cheon Ryu, bought him a lefthander’s glove when he was ten years old. Lefthanders typically wear gloves that fit in the right hand.
Because of this, Ryu eventually learned to pitch with his left hand even though he is right-handed. Even now, he pitches left-handed.
He went to Dongsan High School in Incheon. He is presently enrolled at Daejeon University to pursue his master’s degree.
High School Championships for Hyun-Jin Ryu – Early Career, Teams, and Success
Hyun-Jin played high school baseball as an amateur before turning professional. Prior to 2005, he never pitched in any official games.
He was initially scheduled to pitch in 2004, but Tommy John Surgery rendered him ineligible for the season.
He participated for his high school team in the 2005 Blue Dragon Open National High School Championship while pitching an incredible 22 straight innings with no runs allowed and hitting.389 overall.
At the conclusion of the contest, he was obviously chosen as the Best Pitcher for his outstanding performance.
In the sixth Asian Junior Baseball Championship in South Korea, Ryu was chosen for the junior national team of South Korea, which finished in second place.
He led his team to the championship game after starting the semifinal game against Taiwan’s Chinese Taipei.
Hawks of Hanwha (2006 – 2012)
The Hanwha Eagles selected Hyun-Jin Ryu as the first pick in the second round of the KBO League draft, where he began his professional baseball career.
On April 12, 2006, he made his professional debut. He finished his rookie season with an 18-6 win-loss record. For a newcomer like him, it is regarded as an impressive record.
He was named rookie of the year and player of the year for his outstanding performance. He won MVP honors for the same season as well. It’s safe to say that Hyun-Jin Ryu had a successful season.
Hyun-Jin took part in the 2008 South Korean National Baseball Team’s preparations for the Olympics.
In the baseball competition, his team took home the gold medal. In order to defeat Canada in the semifinals and Cuba in the finals and win the gold medal, Hyun-performance Jin’s was crucial.
Given that he played for the South Korean National Baseball team in the 2009 World Baseball Classics, 2009 was a significant year for Hyun-Jin. South Korea consequently finished second, with Japan taking first place.
The first pitcher in history to strike out 17 batters in a nine-inning game was Hyun-Jin Ryu. He expressed his desire to participate in the MBL numerous times. As a result, numerous MBL scouts traveled to South Korea to see him pitch.
Ryu’s contract negotiations began on November 9, 2012, when the Eagles agreed to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ outrageous $27.5 million offer. By December, Ryu had a six-year, $36 million contract.
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Dodgers of Los Angeles (2013-2019)
On St. Patrick’s Day, Ryu earned his first victory as a Dodger in a spring game. In 5 2/3 innings, he struck out 11 guys. Impressively, he only allowed five runners to reach base while striking out six.
When Hyun-Jin Ryu faced off against the San Francisco Giants on April 2, 2013, it marked the beginning of his official Major League Baseball debut. When he faced the Pittsburgh Pirates, he earned his first-ever MBL victory.
On April 13 of the same year, the Arizona Diamondbacks awarded him his first major – hit and a double in the third innings.
In the match against the Colorado Rockies, he broke his own MBL record. He had a personal best for the MBL with 12 strikeouts against opposing hitters.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is the only pitcher from South Korea to have made a postseason start for Major League Baseball.
Ryu had a successful year in 2014. In Australia’s Sydney, his season got underway. He held the D-backs without a score over the five innings. He started a total of 26 games for the Dodgers despite being on rest time due to various injuries throughout the year.
Mid-Way through the Los Angeles Dodgers
2015 was full with injuries and rested time for Hyun-Jin. He experienced a tight back from the outset of the training sessions. He also had shoulder soreness, due to which he was kept on the injured list for the time being.
Later had to go through shoulder surgery to lessen his pain in the shoulder. This made him rest for the season and his hopes to pitch a career-high of 200 innings.
Hyun-Jin was back in 2016 fit to perform. He started for the Dodgers against the San Diego Padres.
Ryu claimed elbow soreness after the game and was placed back on the disabled list. He also went through a debridement surgery to repair the condition on his left elbow.
Later years with Los Angeles Dodgers
Ryu got his first big league since 2014 in a 5-3 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies. He also pitched 4 scoreless innings out of the bullpen and pocketed his first major save against the St.Louis Cardinals in a 7-4 win. Ryu made a total of 24 stars for the Dodgers in that year.
In 2018, he had to be put on the injured list again because of a groin ailment. However, he started 15 games with the squad and posted 85 strikeouts, going with a 7-3. He was also the first Korean pitcher to have started in a World Series game.
Hyun-Jin Ryu became a free agent after 2018 but elected to accept the offer by the Dodgers for $17.9 million. As a result, he remains with the Dodgers through the end of 2019.
Hyun-jin had a really difficult year in 2019 as he had to play several games after a few years of injuries. He started against the Atlanta Braves after Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill were injured.
He also pitched as a starter for the Washington Nationals. These two pitches won him NL Player of the Week. In addition, he is the record holder for the tenth longest scoreless innings pitched among the Dodgers.
Ryu received the MLB Pitcher of the Month in May. In addition, he was named as the National League’s starting pitcher for his first-ever All-Star participation at the 2019 aLL-Star Game.
He hit his first professional home-run to Antonio Sanzatela of the Colorado Rockies. Hyun-Jin finished the season with a record of 14-5 and an MLB season-leading ERA of 2.32.
He also had the lowest walks per nine innings ratio of 1.183. As a result, he won the second-most votes in the National League Cy Young Award.
Toronto Blue Jays(2020 – present) (2020 – present)
Hyun-Jin Ryu signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. The season did not begin until July because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He made his Blue Jays debut as the Opening Day starting pitcher. He tossed 4 2/3 innings in Toronto’s 6-4 triumph against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Hyun-Jin concluded the season with a 5-2 win over 12 starts.
He has a really good record till now the as he became the first Blue Jays pitcher in this season to pitch the season to pitch into the 7th inning and the second starter to throw 100 pitches while giving zero runs, 5 hits and 2 walks, and a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees.
Ryu led the Blue Jays’ first postseason berth since 2016.
Hyun Jin Ryu | Stats
Hyun-Jin Ryu | Pitching Style
Hyun-Jin Ryu is a 6ft 3 inch, 255-pound pitcher. He is a left-handed pitcher. Hyun-Jin throws a fastball at roughly 89-92 miles per hour. He fluctuates between a cutter, a curveball, a slider, and a change-up.
Many say that change-up is his greatest type of pitching.
He has gained great notice for his ability to locate the pitches; notably, he throws within the strike zone. Ryu is also the first and only Asian pitcher with a sub 3.00 career ERA in big league history.
Who did Hyun-Jin Ryu marry?
Hyun-Jin Ryu is a married guy. He married Korean Broadcaster Ji-Hyun Bae on January 5, 2018. Kim-In Sik, his manager at Hanwha, officiated his wedding. His wife gave birth to their daughter, Lucy Ryu, on May 17, 2020.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is a hugely popular sports figure in South Korea and all across the world. He gets Korean baseball fans in practically every stadium he pitches at.
One unique illustration of his popularity is when he won a game against the Toronto Bue Jays at the Rodgers Center; hundreds of Korean fans waited after the game only to give Ryu a standing ovation, a common occurrence during the game but unheard of after the game.
His lack of appropriate English language understanding became a huge source of aggravation when he first joined the Los Angeles Dodgers, since it was a hard to communicate with his colleagues. However, Ryu soon became better at it as time went on.
Hyun-Jin is widely renowned in the South Korean baseball scene.
This is demonstrated by the fact that since he departed from the Hanwha Eagles, no one has worn his Jersey Number 99 since he left for Major League Baseball in 2012.
Hyun-Jin Ryu | Social Media Presence
Hyun-Jin Ryu is active on Instagram and Twitter. Hence, he has 193 thousand followers on his Instagram handle.
Furthermore, his Twitter account has 98.5 thousand followers.
Hyun-Jin Ryu | FAQs
When did Hyun Jin Ryu hit his first career home run?
He hit his first career home run on September 22, 2019, in a match against the Colorado Rockies.