juan soto, one of the best hitters in major league baseball, added to his already extensive résumé on Monday night. The 23-year-old national star won the 2022 MLB home run derby, defeating Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez in the final. It is the first derby title for Soto, who has been the subject of commercial rumors in recent days.
Rodriguez had a bit of a coming out party before meeting Soto in the final. He ended Pete Alonso’s quest for a hat-trick in the second round. Alonso had won the event in 2019 and 2021 (there was no home run derby in 2020) and was looking to become the first player to win three derbies in a row. Alonso, however, could not match Rodriguez’s 31 home runs.
Reading: Home run derby bracket results
Cardinals legend albert pujols stole the show earlier in the night. The 42-year-old defeated Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber, the event’s top seed, in the first round and had the support of fans and other players.
Here’s how things played out Monday night in the eight-hitter field.
home run derby group, results
- not. July 6 Rodriguez (32 home runs) beats world no. 3 corey seager (24 home runs)
- no. 2 pete alonso (20 home runs) beats no. 7 Ronald Acuna Jr. (19 home runs)
- no. 4 Juan Soto (18 home runs) defeats world no. 5 José Ramírez (17 home runs)
- No. 8 Albert Pujols (20 home runs) defeats world no. 1 kyle schwarber (19 homers) in tiebreaker
- julio rodriguez (31 homers) beats pete alonso (24 homers)
- juan soto (16 homers) beats albert pujols (15 homers)
- juan soto (19 homers) beats julio rodriguez (18 homers)
and now five takeaways from the 2022 derby.
1. juan soto survived and advanced
The young Nationals superstar and possible trade bait never really seemed to find himself at home plate Monday night at Dodger Stadium, but he did what he had to do. her in the first round she hit 18 home runs, enough to surpass cleveland’s josé ramírez. her in the second round she scored 16 en route to eliminating albert pujols, and in the final she scored 19 beating julio rodríguez. That’s a total of 53, well below Rodriguez’s total of 81. As Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., among others, can attest, the higher overall total doesn’t always prevail.
Soto may not have wowed as many as Rodriguez did in the 2022 derby, but he ended up hoisting the trophy at the end. he is now the second youngest player to win the derby, behind only juan gonzalez.
2. Julio Rodriguez had two first rounds to remember
Seattle’s rookie slugger had 32 outs in the first round and then hit 31 home runs in the semifinals. those dual outbursts caused some history in the derby:
Rodriguez, the halftime rookie of the year favorite, is only 21 years and 100 days old. that makes him the third-youngest player to reach a derby final. The only young players to do so were Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in 2019 and Bryce Harper in 2013. Suffice to say, Rodriguez’s future is bright, as is his present.
3. albert pujols shocked us all
At 42 years and 183 days, Albert Pujols was, by a substantial margin, the oldest home run derby participant of all time. As such, expectations for him were low ahead of this year’s derby, and that’s especially the case given that Pujols in the first round was paired against world no. 1 seed and current NL home run leader, Kyle Schwarber.
defying those expectations, however, pujols outboxed schwarzber and advanced beyond the first round. the future hall of famer hit 13 home runs in his at-bat, 10 and then three more during bonus time, which seemed like it wouldn’t be enough. Schwarzer, however, couldn’t find any kind of lasting rhythm, and he, too, landed on 13. That meant a swing-off.
In that swing-off, Pujols scored seven for a total of 20, and Schwarber came up short. with that, perhaps the biggest upset in derby history was completed:
This marked Pujols’s fifth career derby appearance, and with the upset over Schwarzber he became the first player to advance beyond the first round on five occasions.
now for some related content:
It’s also worth noting that just after the conclusion of Pujols’ regulation round, when it seemed his stay in the derby would be brief, the stars in attendance gave him a warm round of thanks and presumed farewell:
Pujols, however, was not quite ready to make his start.
4. pete alonso had the opportunity to make history
alonso won the derby in 2019 and then won again last year. Since there was no derby (or all-star game) in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic, Alonso also counts as a consecutive derby champion. That gave him a chance to become the first to win three straight home run derbies, but Julio Rodriguez was in no mood to cooperate. Alonso also missed out on joining Ken Griffey Jr. as the only three-time derby winners.
However, as things stand, Alonso remains one of only four players, along with Griffey Jr., Prince Fielder and Yoenis Lawns, to win multiple derbies. Given how much Alonso seems to enjoy participating and how seriously he takes it (deadlift! meditation!), it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s a part of the field next year and beyond. here is the hope
5. the overall numbers are something to behold
All in all, the 2022 home run derby gave us…
- 291 home runs
- 22.9 miles of home runs
- 31 home runs that traveled at least 450 feet
- two home runs that traveled less than 480 feet ( one by alonso and one by soto)
- 33 home runs that left the bat at 110 mph or more
We were promised dingers and, folks, we got dingers.