When the Los Angeles Dodgers made a big deal out of signing Korean import Hyun-Jin Ryu last winter, many fans were wondering what all the fuss was about. It was a lot of money to bid just to court a player, and it would no doubt be a lot more to land him. Two months into the season though, maybe they are starting to understand.
Ryu, who inked his first ever MLB contract with the Dodgers for $6 million over six years, won his 10th start of the season Tuesday night over the Los Angeles Angels, giving him a record of 6-2. Not bad for a 26 year old kid who first stepped foot on U.S. soil during the 2009 World Baseball Classic while a member of the runner-up South Korean team.
In a year when many of the organization’s moves have raised some eyebrows, the high priced deal—especially the $25 million-plus just to bid on attempting to sign him, is looking like a good one.
Ryu has surpassed ace Clayton Kershaw in the wins department and is second to him in ERA and strikeouts. The left-handed one-two punch the Dodgers trot out to the mound at the beginning of their rotation would be even more potent if the blue crew could back them up with a few more runs.
The South Korean southpaw allowed only two hits in nine innings against the hot-hitting Angels on Tuesday and has showed that type of prowess in several of his six victories.
In Ryu, the blue crew might be looking at another rookie-of-the-year to add to their list. It would be the team’s first since 1996 when the Dodgers finished off five straight years of winning the award.