> Juan Soto outperforms Julio Rodriguez to clinch Home Run Derby title

Juan Soto outperforms Julio Rodriguez to clinch Home Run Derby title

Juan Soto outperforms Julio Rodriguez to clinch Home Run Derby title

Jul 19
SW Creative
  • SportsWriters

Washington Nationals superstar Juan Soto proved that all the contract and trade rumors did not affect him as he secured the 2022 Home Run Derby title after defeating Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez 19-18 in the final round on Monday in Los Angeles.

Following reports that stated Soto chose to reject a $440-million contract extension, he just wanted to focus on the present and did not want to comment on his situation in Washington.

“Right now I’m not even thinking about it,” Soto told ESPN. “I’m a champion and I’m a champion with the Nationals.”

Soto beat a lot of outstanding players on his way to the final round. The Childish Bambino passed through great names like St. Louis Cardinals’ legend Albert Pujols in the second round. In the process he became the second youngest (by one day!) to win the Home Run Derby.

Youngest Home Run Derby Winners

Year Batter Age
1993 Juan Gonzalez 23 years, 8 months, 23 days
2022 Juan Soto 23 years, 8 months, 24 days
1986 Darryl Strawberry 24 years, 0 months, 28 days
1986 Wally Joyner 24 years, 4 months, 2 days
2019 Pete Alonso 24 years, 7 months, 1 day
1994 Ken Griffey Jr. 24 years, 7 months, 20 days
2009 Prince Fielder 25 years, 2 months, 4 days
2017 Aaron Judge 25 years, 2 months, 14 days
2018 Bryce Harper 25 years, 9 months, 0 days
2021 Pete Alonso 26 years, 7 months, 5 days

Pujols goes out in style!

Pujols, who is back with the Cardinals where he spent his first 11 seasons, will hang his bat up after 22 seasons in the MLB.

“It was pretty awesome (and) I’d like to thank all my peers,” the 42-year-old said on the ESPN broadcast. “It’s pretty awesome to see this young generation and all the talent. And I want to thank all the fans here, the Dodgers fans.” Pujols played 85 games for the Dodgers last season after 10 years with the Los Angeles Angels.Albert Pujols

“Right now I’m not even thinking about it, I’m a champion and I’m a champion with the Nationals,” Soto told ESPN in reference to his contract negotiations.

- Juan Soto

Julio Rodriguez impresses in runner up finish

Meanwhile, Rodriguez’s journey to the final round cannot be underestimated either as he also outplayed two-time defending champion Pete Alonso. The 21-year-old beat Alonso 31-24 to advance to the semifinal. Rodriguez has been outstanding this season where he has contributed to the Mariners’ 14-game win streak and hit a total of 81 home runs over three rounds.

Sweet Victory!

Jul 18, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto (22) celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2022 Home Run Derby at Dodgers Stadium. Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
  • Home Run Derby

    The Home Run Derby is an annual home run hitting competition in Major League Baseball customarily held the day before the MLB All-Star Game, which places the contest on a Monday in July.

  • Home Run Derby (TV series)

    Home Run Derby is a 1960 television show that was held at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles pitting the top sluggers of Major League Baseball against each other in nine-inning home run contests.

  • Juan Soto

    Juan José Soto Pacheco , nicknamed "Childish Bambino", is a Dominican professional baseball outfielder for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball .

  • Julio Rodríguez (baseball)

    Julio Yamel Rodríguez is a Dominican professional baseball outfielder for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball . Rodríguez signed with the Mariners as an international free agent in 2017.