The Los Angeles Dodgers have been blessed to have Hyun-Jin Ryu as their staff ace through the first half of the 2019. A a sign of his arrival as possibly baseball’s best pitcher? He will start the All-Star Game for the NL on Tuesday night in Cleveland.
Moreover, if you want to know how Ryu became the superstar he is in the game today, Bill Plunkett has you covered. Unquestionably, it’s one of the most comprehensive reads out there to date on the Korean Monster’s rise to promise.
It’s our job to pick out the high spots of Plunkett’s stellar column on the electric southpaw.
#Dodgers Hyun-Jin Ryu was a pretty good pitcher even with a bum shoulder in his first two MLB season. Then he had shoulder and elbow surgeries, missed almost all of 2 seasons — and returned as an even better pitcher. It has even surprised Ryu himself.https://t.co/aK97jpRCpI
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) July 8, 2019
We have touched on what a giant superstar Ryu is across multiple countries in the past. However, mixed views existed in the eyes of scouting departments in regards to how Ryu’s game would translate. Let’s look at some scout-speak from scouting director Logan White in regards to his initial impressions of Ryu.
“He wasn’t overpowering, but he could command the s–t out of it,” White said. “He was a little heavy, but I don’t need body beautiful on the mound.”
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While it might sound crazy that scouting departments questioned Ryu’s ability, consider that the pitcher himself had similar thoughts.
“Of course I always thought I could compete in this league,” Ryu said through an interpreter, “but I didn’t know I was going to perform this well.”
However, being signed was only the beginning of a long journey for Ryu from then until today. The article goes on to tell the story of learning a new culture, and battling injuries.
As you read the entire column, you realize that Ryu’s rise to this spot is in some ways as unlikely as that of a Max Muncy or other journeyman. In this sense, Ryu’s baseball life makes for an incredible story.
Ryu’s climb to All-Star starting pitcher has been anything but easy. Perhaps it is through the immense adversity that he’s faced that he finishes this off and wins a Cy Young at age 32. In any case, it’s important to enjoy the ride the Korean Monster is taking the Dodgers on in 2019.