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No. 98: Greatest Dodgers of All-Time: Hyun-Jin Ryu

Babe Ryu

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Time with Dodgers: 2013-2019

Stats: 54-33, 2.98 ERA, 740 13 IP, 665 SO, 129 ERA+, 3.32 FIP, 1.16 WHIP

Baseball Reference WAR: 13.5

FanGraphs WAR: 15.1

Combined WAR: 14.3

A Cy-Young worthy season helps Hyun-Jin Ryu crack this top 100 list. In December of 2012, the Dodgers signed Ryu to a six-year contract worth $36 million. During his tenure with the Dodgers, he was one of the better pitchers in the National League. When he pitched, he was usually at the top of his game.. like I said, when he pitched.

Throughout his Dodgers career, Ryu was constantly battling injuries. He made 30 starts during his rookie season, but over the course of the next five seasons he would make only 66 (13.2 a season). Ryu missed the entire 2015 season with a shoulder injury and made one start in 2016.

As I mentioned, though, when he was healthy, he was a great starter for the Dodgers. He went 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA during his rookie season. He finished fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting. The following year he was just as stellar, as he won 14 games again, and lowered his FIP (2.62) and WHIP (1.19) from the previous season. Ryu also had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.79.

The next two seasons were a wash for Ryu, has he didn’t pitch in 2015 and threw only 4 23 innings in 2016.

Ryu “struggled” in 2017. His worst season would be an above-average season for a lot of starters in the MLB. He had a 3.77 ERA, 110 ERA+ and 1.37 WHIP. 2018 was the beginning of Ryu’s dominant stretch that turned him into one of the best pitchers in baseball.

It looked like a healthy 2018 for Ryu, but a torn groin on May 2 sidelined him for over three months. At the time of the injury, Ryu was off to the hottest start of any season of his career. He was 3-0, had a 2.12 ERA and was holding opponents to a .154 average.

He came back in the middle of August and was the best pitcher in baseball to close out the season. From August 15 through the end of the year, he simply dominated. He posted a 1.88 ERA, and had 53 strikeouts in 53 innings.

Ryu picked up where he left off in 2019 as he had a career season. He went 14-5 with a league-best 2.32 ERA. His 179 ERA+ also led the league, along with his 1.2 walks per nine innings. He was on pace for a historic strikeout-to-walk ratio, but still finished with a league-best 6.79. He made the second most starts of his career (29), along with throwing the second most innings (182 23 ) of his career.

He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, finished 19th in MVP voting, and finished 2nd in Cy Young voting. It was the first time that Ryu had ever received votes for the MVP or Cy Young.

Three starts kept Ryu from having arguably the greatest season from a starting pitcher in MLB history. Through his first 15 starts, his ERA was an incredible 1.27. A seven-run outing in Colorado bumped it up to 1.83. He’d answer right back by posting a 0.45 ERA over his next six starts, lowering his ERA down to 1.45, still contending for the best ERA in MLB history.

His next four starts cost him the ERA title, and likely the Cy Young Award, as he went 0-3 with a 9.95 ERA. Opponents hit .360 off him. He allowed 21 runs in 19 innings. Ryu finished the season strong, throwing seven innings in his final three starts and allowing only three runs.

This past offseason, Ryu signed a free-agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Here’s where Ryu ranks among Dodgers players who have made at least 125 starts:

  • .621 winning percentage (10th)
  • 2.98 ERA (12th)
  • 3.32 FIP (22nd)
  • 5.4 walk percentage (3rd)
  • 129 ERA+ (4th)

Tune in tomorrow to see who comes in at No. 97!

Get caught up on the rest of the “All-Time Dodgers” lists!