The subject of much All-Star Game speculation, Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto won the 2022 Home Run Derby on Monday, edging out Seattle Mariners phenom Julio Rodriguez, 21, in the final.
Soto hit 19 home runs in the one-on-one final, walking him in his minute of bonus time. At 23 years and 266 days, Soto is the second-youngest player to win the derby – just a day older than Juan Gonzalez when he won in 1993.
Albert Pujols, a 42-year-old Home Run Derby entrant, upset No. 1 seed Kyle Schwarber in the first round to the delight of fans and players at Dodger Stadium.
The reign of two-time defending champion Pete Alonso came to an end, losing to Rodriguez in the semi-finals. Alonso was looking to become the first player in history to win three consecutive derbies.
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Here’s how Monday’s Home Run Derby went:
Julio Rodriguez (Mariners) vs. Juan Soto (Nationals)
- Rodriguez – 18 – longest 446 feet: A terrific performance in the two-minute finale for the Seattle phenom looking to become the youngest derby winner in history.
- Soto – 19 – longest 471 feet: Soto wins it! A hell of a final between two of the best young talents in baseball.
No. 6 Julio Rodriguez (Mariners) defeats No. 2 Pete Alonso (Mets)
- Rodriguez – 31 HR – longest 450 feet: The 21-year-old rookie does it again, hitting 31 homers to put serious pressure on Alonso, the two-time defending champion
- Alonso – 24 HR – longest 463 feet: Down with the champion! Alonso had no luck hitting a few on the left-field wall, but he just couldn’t string home runs and it would have taken a near-perfect lap to beat Rodriguez.
No. 4 Juan Soto (Nationals) defeats No. 8 Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
- Pujols – 15 HR – longest 419 feet: The 42-year-old certainly had something in the tank and put together a solid round that could push Soto to the brink.
- Soto – 16 HR – 459 feet longest: Soto needed most of his bonus time but overtakes Pujols, the narrative is cursed.
No. 8 Albert Pujols (Cardinals) beats No. 1 Kyle Schwarber (Phillies)
- Pujols – 13 HR – longest 434 feet: During his last Home Run Derby, the 42-year-old was showered with love by fans and fellow players, who all came out to hug him before bonus time.
- Schwarber – 13 HR – 470 feet longest: The 2018 runner-up struggled throughout his round and couldn’t get the winner over the fence in his minute of bonus time. We will have a tiebreaker!
- PUJOLS WINS THE TIE-BREAKER, 20-19: Pujols found rhythm in the one-minute extra lap while Schwarber warmed up too late. What an upheaval!
No. 4. Juan Soto (Nationals) defeats No. 5 Jose Ramirez (Guardians)
- Ramirez – 17 HR – longest 421 feet: Battling right-handed, the Cleveland star consistently drilled balls into the left-field bleachers, but that probably won’t be enough to hold Soto down.
- Soto – 18 HR – longest 482 feet: He looked easy and didn’t even need his full minute of bonus time, he finished with a second left in regulation time.
No. 2 Pete Alonso (Mets) defeats No. 7 Ronald Acuña Jr. (Braves)
- Acuna – 19 HR – longest 472 feet: Couldn’t find his footing early and only hit one homer over 440 feet to earn 30 seconds of bonus time. Was clearly out of gas at the end, but a big effort from a guy who tore his anterior cruciate ligament days before last year’s All-Star Game.
- Alonso – 20 HR – 480 feet longest : It didn’t look great for Alonso with about a minute to go, but as he does he got hot when it mattered and walked away about halfway through his minute of bonus time.
No. 6 Julio Rodriguez (Mariners) defeats No. 3. Corey Seager (Rangers)
- Rodriguez – 32 HR – longest 463 feet: The 21-year-old rookie was locked in and hit 14 homers before taking a break about halfway through the three-minute round. He got a pep talk from Mookie Betts before extra time and added seven more in the extra minute.
- Seager – 24 HR – longest 451 feet: With his dad on the mound, the former Dodger peppered the right stands with home runs and warmed up late in the round, but didn’t have enough to catch Rodriguez. Fans still loved it
Pete Alonso shows off a derby bat
The “Polar Bear” carries special wood.
Alonso brings back pitcher Dave Jauss
Last year, the two-time defending champion had then-Mets bench coach Dave Jauss pitch for the Home Run Derby. Although Jauss now works as an adviser to the Nationals organization, he will pitch to Alonso on Monday in Los Angeles.
Watch highlights from last year’s Home Run Derby
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