Another day and another international starting pitcher PitchFx post. This time let’s focus on Korea’s Hyunjin Ryu. Appropriately, Ryu is wearing number 99 during the tournament to add an extra layer of mystique, Dennis Rodman/Ron Artest style.
Not to be confused with fellow countryman and San Diego Padres starter Jae Kuk Ryu, this Ryu is a 6’2” lefty with a birth date of March 25th, 1987. That means he’s nearly 22-years-old and looked considerably more impressive than Araldis Chapman. For one, Ryu featured a more consistent release point with his pitches and displayed a better sense of control, issuing a walk in two and two-thirds innings pitched. Ryu did allow five hits, all singles, and struck three hitters out.
Ryu’s arsenal featured a fastball that broke in to lefties while sitting 89-91 and topping out at 93 miles per hour. A change-up, slider, curveball, and splitter. Let’s look at his movement chart:
Ryu’s fastball varies in speed enough with his splitter and change-up to cause some recognition issues for batters. Ryu’s curveball and slider break away from lefties as you would expect, and his curve really dives off the table at a – by comparison – slow-moving 75 miles per hour.
Again, Ryu’s potential MLB status is hardly predictable. I suppose there’s a chance down the road, but that’s some time away so there’s no sense in penciling him in as someone’s ace in 2010.