Skip to main content

Nationals Star Juan Soto Wins 2022 MLB Home Run Derby

With a final total of 53 home runs, Nationals slugger Juan Soto won the 2022 MLB Home Run Derby on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

The star outfielder defeated Mariners rookie Julio Rodríguez in the finals by a score of 19–18 to take home the first HR Derby crown of his career. Soto will also receive $1 million of the $2.5 million prize pool after outlasting a stacked field of All-Star competitors that also included two-time champion Pete Alonso, Ronald Acuña Jr., Albert Pujols, Kyle Schwarber, José Ramírez and Corey Seager.

Rodriguez, who ended the night with a staggering 81 dingers, met Soto after shockingly erasing Alonso’s bid for an elusive three-peat in Round 2. The rising star eliminated the Mets All-Star after outscoring him, 31–22, ending his two-year reign over the event. Alonso won last year at Coors Field in Denver and in 2019 at Progressive Field in Cleveland; the 2020 edition of the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Entering the night as the No. 4 seed, Soto began the contest by outdueling Ramírez, the No. 5 seed, 18–17, to advance to the semifinals. In Round 2, he narrowly defeated the legendary Pujols, 16–15, to set up an intense finals showdown with Rodriguez. It took Soto 10 swings before he finally found his stride, hitting 10 homers before taking a break and returning to eventually clinch the win with another four blasts, including a 415-foot homer with 20 seconds of bonus time to spare.

Soto’s thrilling victory makes him the second-youngest winner in derby history as he is one day older than 1993 winner, former Rangers star Juan González. After losing to Alonso in the semifinal in 2021, the 23-year-old Soto returned to the competition with another standout performance a little over a year after he set the record for the longest home run ever tracked in the event’s 37-year existence with a 520-foot moonshot at Coors Field.

His winning effort at Monday night’s showcase comes at an interesting time for the two-time Silver Slugger after he shocked the sports world over the weekend by turning down a historic 15-year, $440 million extension from Washington. Soto has reportedly been made available for trade in the aftermath of his decision and figures to remain a prominent headline in the months to come as teams attempt to acquire him in a blockbuster deal.

More MLB Coverage: