Ryu earns praise of fellow South Korean Park

Ryu earns praise of fellow South Korean Park

LOS ANGELES -- Hyun-Jin Ryu's impressive rookie season with the Dodgers has caught the eye of another South Korean pitcher who debuted with the Dodgers -- Chan Ho Park.

Ryu entered Saturday's start against the Reds with an 8-3 record and 3.25 ERA. The left-hander needed just 11 starts to toss his first shutout and has been consistent throughout his first Major League season.

"He's adjusted very well and is pitching very well," Park told MLB.com from Cooperstown, N.Y. "I think he enjoys it very much. I'm very proud and enjoy watching him."

Ryu began playing baseball in 1994, when Park debuted with the Dodgers. Ryu was a seven-time all-star in the Korea Baseball Organization before signing with the Dodgers last winter. He's the 14th South Korean to play in the Majors, and Park believes more will make it to the big leagues.

"He opened a big door for pro ball in Korea and I think many will follow him in the future," Park said. "There's many good pitchers in Korea and they are watching the Major Leagues. That helps a lot. I think the Korean community in Los Angeles has helped Ryu a lot."

Ryu has been extremely popular in Los Angeles and has an immense following of South Korean fans and media wherever he pitches. Saturday's game against the Reds was broadcast live in South Korea, as Ryu faced Reds leadoff hitter and countryman Shin-Soo Choo for the first time.

Park pitched 10 seasons with the Dodgers from '94-2001 and 2008. He was an All-Star in '01. Park also pitched for the Rangers, Padres, Mets, Phillies, Yankees and Pirates during a 17-year career.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.