The subject of much speculation at the All-Star Game, Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto won the 2022 home run derby on Monday, beating 21-year-old Seattle Mariners phenom Julio Rodriguez in the final.
Soto hit 19 home runs in the head-to-head final, passing it in a minute of bonus time. At 23 years and 266 days old, Soto is the second youngest player to win a derby – just one day older than Juan González when he won in 1993.
Albert Pujols, who competed in the Home Run Derby at the age of 42, knocked out No. 1 seed Kyle Schwarber in the first round, much to the delight of fans and players at Dodger Stadium.
Two-time defending champion Pete Alonso’s reign came to an end, losing to Rodriguez in the semi-finals. Alonso aimed to become the first player in history to win three derbies in a row.
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Here’s how the home run derby played out on Monday:
Julio Rodriguez (Sailors) vs. Juan Soto (Nationals))
- Rodriguez – 18 – longest 446 feet: An amazing performance in a two-minute final for a Seattle phenom aspiring to become the youngest derby winner in history.
- Soto – 19 – longest 471 feet: Soto wins! A real final between two of baseball’s best young talents.
No. 6 Julio Rodriguez (Sailors) defeats No. 2 Pete Alonso (Mets)
- Rodriguez – 31 hours – longest 450 feet: The 21-year-old rookie does it again, pummeling 31 homers to put some serious pressure on Alonso, the two-time defending champion.
- Alonso – 24 hours – longest 463 feet: Down comes the champion! Alonso was unlucky enough to hit the wall of left field a few times, but he just couldn’t put the homers together and it would take a near-perfect round to beat Rodriguez.
No. 4 Juan Soto (Nationals) defeats No. 8 Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
- Pujols – 15 hours – longest 419 feet: The 42-year-old definitely has something left and has put together a strong round that could put Soto on the brink.
- Soto – 16 hours – longest 459 feet: Soto needed most of his bonus time, but Pujols were outmatched, storytelling be damned.
No. 8 Albert Pujols (Cardinals) defeats No. 1 Kyle Schwarber (Phillies)
- Pujols – 13 HR – longest 434 feet: In his final Home Run Derby, the 42-year-old was showered with love from fans and other players who came to hug him before bonus time.
- Schwarber – 13 hours – longest 470 feet: The 2018 runner-up struggled throughout the round and failed to get the winner over the fence in a minute of bonus time. We will have a tie-break!
- PUJOLS WINS TIEBREAKER, 20-19: Pujols found a groove in the one-minute extra round while Schwarber warmed up too late. What an upset!
No. 4. Juan Soto (Nationals) defeats No. 5 Jose Ramirez (Guardians)
- Ramirez – 17 hours – longest 421 feet: A right-handed hitter, the Cleveland star has consistently kicked balls into the left field stands, but that probably won’t be enough to keep Soto.
- Soto – 18 hours – longest 482 feet: Made it easy and didn’t even need my full minute of bonus time, walking away with a second left in the main.
No. 2 Pete Alonso (Mets) defeats No. 7 Ronald Acuña Jr. (Braves)
- Acuna – 19 hours per hour – longest 472 feet: Couldn’t find footing earlier and only hit one homer over 440 feet to earn 30 seconds of extra time. He obviously ran out of gas at the end, but the guy who tore his anterior cruciate ligament days before last year’s All-Star Game did a great job.
- Alonso – 20 hours – longest 480 feet : It didn’t look good for Alonso with about a minute left, but when it mattered, he fired up and left about halfway through his minute of bonus time.
No. 6 Julio Rodriguez (Mariners) defeats No. 3 Corey Seeger (Rangers)
- Rodriguez – 32 hours – longest 463 feet: The 21-year-old rookie was locked out and hit 14 home runs before taking a break about halfway through the three-minute round. He received a pep talk from Mookie Betts before the bonus time and added seven more in an extra minute.
- Seager – 24 hours – longest 451 feet: With his dad on the mound, the former Dodger littered the right stand with homers and got hot late in the round, but he didn’t have enough to catch Rodriguez. Although the fans liked
Pete Alonso showing off a derby bat
The “Polar Bear” is carrying some special lumber.
Alonso brings back pitcher Dave Jauss
The two-time defending champion had then-Mets bench coach Dave Jauss as his home run derby pitcher last year. Although Jauss is now an adviser for the Nationals, he is set to challenge Alonso in Los Angeles on Monday.
Watch the highlights of last year’s Home Run Derby
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