Juan Soto Wins The 2022 Home Run Derby, Edging Out Julio Rodríguez

On July 18, 2022, the 2022 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby was contested at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, the site of the 2022 MLB All-Star Game.

Juan “Childish Bambino” Soto won the 2022 edition of the Major Run Derby edging past his fellow Dominican outfielder Julio “J-Rod” Rodríguez.

The Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was appearing in the Home Run Derby for the 2nd time in his career. He started the competition as the 4th seed. He had 19 home runs on his resume by the time the seeds were set. Before the competition, Soto expressed his desire to hit the longest opposite-field home run.

The 23-year-old began his flawless run facing off against José Ramírez. Being the higher seed, he went 2nd. With a target of 18 homers, he started in stunning fashion and already hit 10 before the timeout. He then went to hit his 18th with a few seconds remaining on the clock. The longest overall home run (482 ft by Juan Soto) occurred in this round.

In the semifinals, Soto was up against the Cardinals veteran, Albert Pujols. Pujols started the competition by upsetting the top seed, Kyle Schwarber in the first round. With 15 homers against Soto in the semis, The 42-year-old hit a total of 35 home runs in the 2022 Derby breaking his own personal record of 26 in 2003. However, Soto kept up his blistering form and managed to hit 16 home runs before the end of the time control and thus eliminating the oldest Home Run Derby participant.

Juan Soto and Julio Rodríguez, both hailing from the Dominican Republic, were set to meet in the finals. The Seattle Mariners rookie, Rodríguez hit 63 homers in his first two rounds. This time, however, J-Rod being the lower seed went first and hit a relatively lower 18 home runs. 14 in the regulation time and the other 4 came in bonus time taking his 2022 tally to 81 home runs. Soto, Despite starting slow, came in hot in the latter part of the time control and secured his victory with the 19th home run. With this win, Soto became the second youngest player ever to get the derby crown, missing the world record by just one day.

The Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles brimmed with excitement throughout the competition. From Rodríguez’s fiery start to Soto’s immaculate consistency, the 2022 Home Run Derby had it all. The fans barely had any time to take their eyes off the games.

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