Ryu Hyun-Jin: What to Expect from Dodgers' Latest Big Signing

Shawn BrubakerContributor IIDecember 9, 2012

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 08:  South Korean national baseball team player Ryu Hyun-Jin attends at the World Baseball Classic 2009 Korean Team Press Conference at Shilla Hotel on January 8, 2009 in Seoul, South Korea.  (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been on a spending spree of late, with the latest signee being South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-Jin.

Here is what to expect from the talented hurler.



Ryu features a fastball that tops out at 95 mph, with an average around 90 mph. His other three pitches include a slider, a curveball and a changeup.

Ryu's curveball is a nice contrast to his relatively powerful fastball. At 75 mph, his slow curve can catch plenty of batters off-balance.

His most impressive pitch, though, is that changeup. Well-chosen changeups from Ryu have dominated Korean competition over the past few years, and they will give him a fighting chance against MLB competition.

This solid repertoire, combined with Ryu's left-handedness, should help him compete almost immediately. 



As impressive as Ryu's 2.80 career ERA is, more impressive is his stamina. Ryu has racked up an impressive 27 complete games in just 181 starts in his career. With an average of seven innings pitched per start, the Dodgers can be confident that Ryu will pitch deep into games.

Helping Ryu is his size. At 6'2", 215 pounds, Ryu is already built like a big major-league pitcher, and this size is a big part of why he can pitch so deep into games.

Another key strength of Ryu is his easy, smooth throwing motion. He doesn't put much stress on his body when he throws, and this helps Ryu pitch deep into games and avoid serious injury.


How the Dodgers Will Use Him

What the Dodgers plan to do with Ryu remains to be seen, but he should find his way into the rotation sooner rather than later.  

Ryu has upside as a back-end pitcher in the Dodgers rotation. He certainly won't overtake Clayton Kershaw or the recently signed Zack Greinke, but he could solidify the back end of the rotation. 

We already know Ryu can play with some of the world's best. He has excelled in international competition, including leading South Korea to a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Now, baseball fans will get the chance to see whether he can translate this success in Korea and international play to MLB, where he will face the best in the world in every game. All signs point to him doing just that.