Juan Soto beats Julio Rodriguez in LA final

Juan Soto beats Julio Rodriguez in LA final


Washington Nationals hitter Juan Soto, the subject of much speculation at the All-Star Game, won Monday’s 2022 Home Run Derby, beating 21-year-old Seattle Mariners phenom Julio Rodriguez in the final.

Soto hit 19 home runs in the head-to-head final and finished in his bonus minute. 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, who competed in the Home Run Derby at the age of 42, upset No. 1 seed Kyle Schwarber in the first round, much to the delight of fans and players at Dodger Stadium.

Two-time champion Pete Alonso’s reign ended when he lost to Rodriguez in the semifinals. Alonso wanted to become the first player in history to win three derbies in a row.

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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 great performance in the two-minute final for the Seattle phenomenon who is aiming to become the youngest derby winner in history.
  • Soto – 19 – longest 471 feet: Soto wins! Quite a finale between two of baseball’s brightest young talents.

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 home runs to put some serious pressure on Alonso, the two-time defending champion
  • Alonso – 24 hours – longest 463 feet: Down goes the champion! Alonso was unlucky to hit a few from the wall in left field, but he just couldn’t string homers together and it would have taken a near-perfect round to defeat 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 left in the tank and put together a strong lap that could push Soto to the edge.
  • Soto – 16 HR – longest 459 feet: Soto took up most of his bonus time, but Powers past Pujols, narration be damned.

No. 8 Albert Pujols (Cardinals) defeats No. 1 Kyle Schwarber (Phillies)

  • Pujols – 13 HR – longest 434 feet: In his last home run derby, the 42-year-old was showered with love from the fans and teammates, who all gave him a hug before bonus time.
  • Schwarber – 13 HR – longest 470 feet: The 2018 runner-up struggled throughout his lap and failed to get the winner over the fence in his bonus minute. We have a tiebreak!
  • PUJOLS WINS TIEBREAKER, 20-19: Pujols found a groove on the one-minute extra lap while Schwarber warmed up late. What an excitement!

No.4 Juan Soto (Nationals) defeats No.5 Jose Ramirez (Guardians)

  • Ramirez – 17 HR – longest 421 feet: Cleveland’s star hit with his right hand and consistently drilled balls into the left stands, but that probably won’t be enough to stop Soto.
  • Soto – 18 HR – longest 482 feet: Makes it look easy and didn’t even use his full minute of bonus time and walked away with a second left in regulation.

No. 2 Pete Alonso (Mets) defeats No. 7 Ronald Acuña Jr. (Braves)

  • Acuna – 19 HR – longest 472 feet: Couldn’t get a foothold early and only hit a homer over 440 feet to earn 30 seconds of bonus time. Definitely ran out of gas at the end, but a great effort from a guy who tore his ACL days before last year’s All-Star game.
  • Alonso – 20 HR – longest 480 feet : Things weren’t looking good for Alonso with about a minute left, but he got hot when it mattered and walked away about halfway through his 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 caged and hit 14 homers before resting about halfway through the three-minute round. He got a pep talk from Mookie Betts before bonus time and added seven more in the extra minute.
  • Seager – 24 hours – longest 451 feet: With his dad on the mound, the former Dodger peppered right field stands with homers and got hot late in the round but didn’t have enough to catch Rodriguez. The fans loved it anyway

The “Eisbär” has special wood on board.

Last year, the two-time defending champion pitched then-Mets coach Dave Jauss for the home run derby. Although Jauss now works as an advisor in the Nationals organization, he will throw at Alonso in Los Angeles on Monday.

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