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Ryu was drafted first overall in the second round of the 2006 KBO League Draft by the Hanwha Eagles in July 2005, and he made his professional debut on April 12, 2006.

Ryu had an 18–6 record with a 2.23 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 201.2 innings thrown in his debut season in 2006.

He was voted Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year after winning the Triple Crown in pitching. He was the only player in KBO history to earn Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season.

Hyun-jin Ryu
Hyun-jin Ryu

Ryu represented South Korea at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where they won the gold medal in the baseball competition. Ryu pitched a full game shutout against Canada in the team’s third round-robin game, allowing just five hits.

He pitched 81/3 innings in the gold medal game against Cuba, allowing only two earned runs in a 3–2 triumph.


In March 2009, he was a member of the South Korean national baseball team, which finished second to Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

In 2010, Ryu was a member of the South Korean national baseball team, which won the gold medal in baseball at the Asian Games.

In a nine-inning game against the LG Twins at Cheongju Sports Complex Baseball Stadium on May 11, 2010, Ryu became the first pitcher in history to strike out 17 batters.

Ryu had a 2.66 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 2012, however he only had a 9–9 record and ten no-decisions.

Ryu has voiced a desire to play Major League Baseball in the United States, and scouts from a number of MLB teams have visited Korea to evaluate Ryu’s pitching.

Finally, on October 29, 2012, the Eagles stated that Ryu would be released as early as November 1, 2012, allowing MLB teams to bid for his rights to negotiate.

What Nationality Is Hyun Jin Ryu?

Hyun Jin Ryu is South Korean.