Juan Soto has won the 2022 Home Run Derby over Julio Rodriguez. The rookie had an impressive debut, but Soto showed teams why they should look at acquiring him ahead of the trade deadline at the end of this month. Soto had +550 odds ahead of the start of the derby to win and went into the finals as the +100 underdog to Rodriguez.
It’s a bad day to be a baseball as it is time for the 2022 Home Run Derby. The action will start at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. This is the first time the event will be played at the stadium. The matchups are set as the format will continue to use the bracket system of the eight competitors. Pete Alonso is looking to be the first player to ever win three derbys in a row. He is joined by Ronald Acuna Jr., Juan Soto, Kyle Schwarber, Corey Seager, Julio Rodriguez, Albert Pujols and Jose Ramirez.
As a reminder, this is a single-elimination tournament with a total of three rounds. The higher seed will hit second. Each batter will receive three minutes in the first two rounds to strut their stuff and hit as many home runs as possible. Everyone will get a little breather and then 30 additional seconds of added time. They can make it a full minute if they can hit two home runs further than 440 ft. The batter with the most home runs in each matchup will advance. This continues until the final round, where the remaining contestants will have a shortened two-minute period for regulation.
First round matchups
No. 1 Kyle Schwarber (PHI) 19 vs. No. 8 Albert Pujols (STL) 20
No. 4 Juan Soto (WSH) 18 vs. No. 5 Jose Ramirez (CLE) 17
No. 2 Pete Alonso (NYM) 20 vs. No. 7 Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL) 19
No. 3 Corey Seager (TEX) 24 vs. No. 6 Julio Rodriguez (SEA) 32
Second round matchups
No. 8 Albert Pujols (STL) 15 vs. No 4 Juan Soto 16 (WSH)
No. 2 Pete Alonso (NYM) 23 vs. No. 6 Julio Rodriguez (SEA) 31
Final round matchup
No. 4 Juan Soto (WSH) 19 vs. No. 6 Julio Rodriguez (SEA) 18
2022 Home Run Derby live updates
Soto Final Round: Soto begins with seven swings with no home run. He finally gets one almost a minute in. Soto then knocked four in a row. He takes his timeout with 32 seconds left in regulation and has the full minute of bonus time. Soto is sitting at 10 so far. He ends regulation with 15 and has a minute to hit four. He easily surpasses it, and they can’t get him to stop swinging. Soto hit his 19th and then just kept swinging as they tried to let him know he won. He likely finished with 20 or 21, but officially wins with 19.
JUAN SOTO WINS THE HOME RUN DERBY pic.twitter.com/1CpYTXB2H8— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 19, 2022
Rodriguez Final Round: This is the first Home Run Derby final with both competitors being younger than 24 years old. A reminder that in the finals, we are down to two-minute rounds. He takes his timeout at the halfway point and has seven home runs, with his longest at 446 feet this round. Rodriguez has 14 and will have just 30 seconds to go in the bonus. He adds four more and finishes with 18.
Soto Second Round: It took 50 seconds for Soto to hit his first home run as he snuck one within the foul pole. Soto was trying to make it interesting not hitting a homer in his first eight swings. He takes his timeout at the halfway point and has six home runs. Soto ends regulation with 13 home runs but has the entire minute bonus time to hit three more. It took Soto about 30 seconds to hit three more to knock out Pujols.
Pujols Second Round: Pujols calls for time with 1:45 left and has six home runs. His furthest has gone 418 feet. The 22-year vet is looking tired out there but put forth quite the effort hitting 12 home runs in regulation. With his 30 seconds of automatic bonus time, he added three more for a total of 15.
Albert Pujols has advanced out of the 1st round in all five of his Home Run Derby appearances.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 19, 2022
He is the only player to advance out of the 1st round five times.
Pujols' 20 home runs are the most he has hit in a single round of his Home Run Derby career. pic.twitter.com/EXhiBSvSRI
Alonso Second Round: Alonso takes his timeout with 1:40 left and only six home runs. He is going to have to put on a show to catch Rodriguez. Alonso does have the full bonus minute ready to go, but he still trails heavily. He is at 18 home runs with one minute left, he will have 60 seconds to hit 13 home runs. He misses the mark, and Alonso finishes with 23.
Rodriguez Second Round: Rodriguez set the rookie home run derby record with 32 home runs in the first round. He takes his timeout with 1:44 left in regulation with seven home runs. Rodriguez hit nine in a row, including two over 440 ft. to earn the full bonus time. He ends regulation with 23 home runs, including a 450 ft. shot as his longest. Rodriguez hits eight more in bonus time and finishes with 31.
Age when Albert Pujols hit his first MLB home run:— Jim Passon (@PassonJim) July 19, 2022
José Ramírez - 8 years, 201 days
Kyle Schwarber - 8 years, 32 days
Corey Seager - 6 years, 344 days
Pete Alonso - 6 years, 120 days
Ronald Acuña Jr. - 3 years, 109 days
Juan Soto - 2 years, 163 days
Julio Rodríguez - 98 days
Pujols/Schwarber Swing Off: Pujols hits seven home runs in a minute, and the favorite Schwarber has got a tough test ahead of him. Schwarber sends six over the fence and loses.
ALBERT PUJOLS WINS THE SWING OFF AND ADVANCES TO THE SEMIFINALS @PujolsFive | #HRDerby pic.twitter.com/HQY4qRBxI3— ESPN (@espn) July 19, 2022
Schwarber First Round: He hits one deep on his first swing and then hits six more before taking his timeout with 1:10 left. Schwarber needs to pick up the pace if he wants to advance. He does hit one 470 ft. to earn the full minute of bonus time as he ends regulation with 10. He will have a minute to hit four. Schwarber only gets three, and there will be a 60-sec swing off between him and Pujols.
Pujols First Round: The 22-year veteran starts with a bold strategy in taking the first two pitches of a timed event. He hits a home run 416 feet and takes his timeout with 2 minutes left. With Schwarber up after him, he will need to pick up the pace. He does string together three in a row as he tries to set a respectable total. Pujols finishes with 10 home runs with the furthest ball traveling 434 feet in regulation. He adds three in extra time for a total of 13.
Soto First Round: He begins by asking them to move the L screen back. Soto takes a break with 1:24 left and has 10 home runs. Soto has already earned the extra 30 seconds and continues to mash after his timeout. He bat flips after his final moonshot and gets number 18 and the win on his final swing of regulation. His longest finished at 482 ft.
Ramirez First Round: The switch hitter chooses to bat right-handed against the right-handed pitcher. He hits one out his first swing and then misses on six straight. Ramirez takes his break with 1:43 left in regulation with four home runs. He catches heat after the break and finishes regulation with 15 home runs total. He adds two with the extra 30 seconds of time, and his longest home run went 421 ft.
Alonso First Round: Alonso’s third home run went 480 ft. which is already the longest of the day. With 1:20 left, he takes a timeout and has 10 home runs so far. He has already gotten bonus time, and he just needs to hit 20. He got to the mark in bonus time as he was unsure about one swing and quickly got another one and had 21 for the round officially.
Pete Alonso (20) advances against Ronald Acuna Jr (19)#MLB #HRDerby pic.twitter.com/dxBvDnKBB0— SportsGrid (@SportsGrid) July 19, 2022
Acuna First Round: Fewer fireworks for Acuna as he begins the round hitting balls to center field. Both Seager and Rodriguez pulled the ball for faster home runs. Acuna takes his timeout with 1:44 left and only nine home runs. As a reminder, he isn’t battling Rodriguez’s 32 and is just taking on Alonso, who will go next. Acuna only hit one home run further than 440 ft. (his longest was 472) so he misses out on bonus time. He ends with 19 home runs.
Seager First Round: Seager takes off the hat and starts with back-to-back shots. He hits 10 in the first minute and a half and uses his timeout. Seager has his dad pitching to him, but he isn’t getting the balls to Seager fast enough. He finishes with 24 home runs as his day is done. Seager’s longest home run was 451 ft.
Rodriguez First Round: Julio Rodriguez starts the action with a swing and a miss. He gets on track quickly as he clobbers 14 home runs before taking his timeout. He had 10 more to total 24 in regulation, and he already has surpassed his over/under of 26.5. He finished with 32 home runs. Rodriguez’s longest home run was 463 ft.
Ahead of the action getting started, the players were welcomed to the field in a really cool ceremony. Ronald Acuna almost got taken out early by some fire, so this event is off to a hot start.
It would not surprise me if MLB Home Run Derby was the first event that lights a competitor on fire. Create a little buzz. pic.twitter.com/Tn8Y26ZUII— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) July 19, 2022