South Korean baseball star Hyun-Jin Ryu has been remarkable for his resilience and determination. The pitcher has made his way to Major League Baseball which is the biggest baseball league in the world. He is currently playing the position of a starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of the MLB. He turned pro in 2006 and completed six seasons of his professional career in the Korean Baseball League before joining Major League Baseball. Notably, he is the first South Korean baseball player to feature as a starting pitcher in the MLB postseason. Learn more about him below.
Hyun-Jin Ryu Biography
Hyun-Jin Ryu first came into this world on the 25th day of March 1987; he was born to Seung-Soon Park and her husband Jae-Cheon Rhy in Incheon Metropolitan City of South Korea. While he was growing up, Rhy was naturally left-handed and his father got him a right-handed mitt so he could learn to perfectly utilize his left hand. He graduated from Dongsan High School, Incheon, and also got his master’s degree in community physical education from Daejeon University.
During his high school career in 2004, Ryu sustained an injury that led him to undergo the Tommy John Surgery in order to fix his ulnar collateral ligament. Returning in 2005, the pitcher led the high school team to participate in the Blue Dragon Open National High School competition where he was named the best pitcher of the tournament. His team also took part in the Asian Junior Baseball Championship held in Seoul, South Korea in 2005. There he helped them to advance to the finals while recording 14 strikeouts in the competition.
After an impressive career in 2005, Hyun-Jin Ryu was picked by the Hanwha Eagle of the Korean Baseball League in the second round of the 2006 draft. The pitcher made his first appearance for the Eagles on 12th April 2006. At the end of his rookie season, Hyun-Jin Ryu won both the Rookie of the Year and Best Player of the Year awards; as well as pitching Triple Crown after leading the league in pitching that season. Ryu had a total of 205 strikeouts in his rookie year.
Hyun-Jin Ryu continued to record great improvement in his pitching skills and adaption to the professional league. He led the South Korean baseball team to win the gold medal at the Summer Olympics held in Beijing in 2008 and the following year, he also led the South Korean team that finished third at the World Baseball Classic held in Los Angeles.
While Hyun-Jin Ryu was experiencing a burgeoning career, the pitcher declared his interest to join the American baseball league. However, this brought so many MLB teams who were scouting for his services to South Korea. He later signed up with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a 6-year deal worth $36 million in 2013.
The South Korean star made his first appearance in the MLB on 2nd April 2013. After an impressive rookie year, Ryu was named to the All-Rookie team by Baseball America. In October of the same year, Ryu became the only South Korean player pitcher to ever start a Major League postseason game.
The following year, Hyun-Jin Ryu missed out in so many games because of injuries but finished the season with a record of 14 – 7. He has continued to record significant improvement in his game while adapting to the MLB pattern of play. He underwent surgery to fix an injury on his shoulder in 2015 and in 2016, he also had surgery on his left elbow. Bouncing back in 2017, the South Korean star recorded 116 strikeouts in the season but his 2018 season was cut short by more injuries; nevertheless, Ryu featured in 24 games while making a total of 85 strikeouts in the season.
Hyun-Jin Ryu’s Salary Earnings
Without a doubt, the South Korean baseball star has been pulling a lot of stunts since the inception of his career. He has equally acquired huge wealth for himself and is currently living a lavish lifestyle. Recall, he signed a six-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013 which made his basic salary shoot up to $6 million per year. Following his impressive performances, Ryu has been receiving a basic salary of $7 million since 2016. His contract with the Dodgers will end by the end of the 2018/19 season at which time he will become an unrestricted free agent.
Who is His Girlfriend?
Hyun-Jin Ryu is undoubtedly a great and skillful player, but behind every successful man lies a strong and loving woman. Ryu has been in a relationship with his long-term sweetheart Bae Hyun-jin. Bae is a famous South Korean TV personality and anchor associated with the Seoul-based network called Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation. She holds a degree in mass communication which she obtained from Sookmyung Women’s University Seoul, South Korea. The amazing TV anchor has appeared on different shows including Guangzhou Asian Games, Infinity Challenge, and MBC News Desk, among others.
The couple began their relationship several years ago when Ryu was still playing in the Korean League. Interestingly, they announced their engagement in September 2017, and on 5th January 2018, they walked down the aisle. It was fun at the Shilla Hotel where many of their friends and family members came to witness their wedding ceremony.
Hyun-Jin Ryu Height and Weight
Height: Hyun-Jin Ryu stands at a height of 6 feet 3 inches.
Weight: The Dodgers pitcher has a body weight of 113 kg