There is a man pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a handsome man of Asian descent with a great personality. Along with his devilishly handsome looks, this man has also shown the baseball world why we should have never forgotten about him. After an early season groin injury that had him on the shelf for 12 days and groin injuries in the past, including one last year that had him on the shelf for half the year, that man, Hyun Jin Ryu looks rejuvenated. By the way, that same man is one of baseball’s best pitchers right now and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Hyun-Jin Ryu has now put himself on the radar for an early candidate for the All-Star game on July 9th. After last nights spectacular performance against the slowly dying Washington Nationals, that saw him take a no hitter into the eighth inning after Gerardo Parra ground rule double to start the frame, Ryu has let the world know he is here to stay. Not to mention he is coming off a start against the powerhouse Atlanta Braves where he threw a four-hit complete game shut out just five days ago. Ryu is hot with his pitching hand and in real life, tough combo to compete with, but he is going a bit under the radar.
Let’s get to some stats. Ryu started 15 games last season and has started eight so far this year. During these 23 starts dating back to last season, Ryu has thrown 134.2 innings with an ERA of 1.60, a WHIP of 0.753, and a ridiculous 143/18 K/BB ratio. This season, Ryu has 54 strikeouts compared to only THREE, yes, THREE walks. That shut out he threw against the mighty Braves, was his first shut out since his rookie season all the back in 2013. Not saying he didn’t go back to his native land of South Korea and grab some Ginseng mixed with some other natural plant that the world doesn’t know about yet, but there’s a possibility and I will not rule it out yet. I trust South Korea. Not the other one. But forreal, this man has figured it the hell out and has been fun to watch. Ryu leads the National League in wins with five, shut outs with one and BB/9 with .5. He still seems a little bit prone to the long ball with six home runs given up already, but that seems to be the only “flaw” so far this season.
Ryu is a complete pitcher. Not a thrower, but a true pitcher. Locates all quadrants of the strike zone well, obviously has pin point control, while keeping hitters off-balance and never letting hitters get too comfortable. Although he hasn’t thrown over 100 innings in since 2017, and the year before that he threw 4.2 innings, Ryu looks to be in a bit of a resurgent season finally, and hopefully, getting over that terrible injury bug. Keep an eye out for Ryu the rest of the season and by the grace of the South Korean and baseball gods, we will get to see Ryu for a whole season.