By: Nina Samone
On Monday, July 18th, Juan Soto took victory against rookie Julio Rodriguez at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to claim his first Home run Derby King title.
Soto, age 23, becomes the 2nd youngest player to ever win the title and first Dominican-born player to win the title since 2011.
The Home Run Derby is one of the biggest days of the MLB season, and is a customary home run hitting contest that is held before the MLB All-Star game.
This year’s game was full of surprises – from back to back reigning champion Pete Alonso being bested in the 2nd to an upset of Albert Pujols by Kyle Schwarber, fans were kept on their toes.
Julio Rodriguez slashed Alonso’s chance for a third consecutive title – he would have been the first to ever accomplish such a feat.
Rodriguez had an impressive home run total of 81, 28 more than Soto’s total. It just goes to show that sometimes the one with the most homeruns is not always the victor.
Rodriguez made history and became the 1st player with two 30-homerun rounds in a single Derby – and at 21 years old, he is also the third youngest to ever make a Derby final.
ESPN. July 18th, 2022. ESPN. “Juan Soto is your 2022 MLB Home Run Derby champ! Takeaways and our favorite moments from Dodger Stadium.” <https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34255607/juan-soto-your-2022-mlb-home-run-derby-champ-takeaways-our-favorite-moments-dodger-stadium>
Perry, Dayn. July 19th, 2022. CBS Sports. “2022 MLB Home Run Derby results, takeaways: Juan Soto beats Julio Rodriguez for crown; Pete Alonso falls short.” <https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/2022-mlb-home-run-derby-results-takeaways-juan-soto-beats-julio-rodriguez-for-crown-pete-alonso-falls-short/live/>