Juan Soto Is the Second-Youngest to Win
Juan Soto clubbed 19 home runs in the head-to-head final at 23 years and 266 days, making him the second-youngest player to win the derby. He was only one day older than Juan Gonzalez when he won in 1993. Soto had a minute of bonus time this year.
Juan Soto was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on October 25, 1998. The young athlete made his major-league debut on May 20, 2018, becoming the youngest player in the major leagues at 19 years.
Other Participants in the Home Run Derby
Other key players that took part in the Home Run Derby are Albert Pujols and Kyle Schwarber. Also, the two-time defending champion Pete Alonso’s reign came to an end, losing to Rodriguez in the semifinals. Pete Alonso was looking to become the first player in history to win three consecutive derbies.
How the Home Run Derby Played Out
The finals were between Julio Rodriguez (Mariners) and Juan Soto (Nationals).
- Julio Rodriguez – 18 – longest 446 feet: A terrific showing in the two-minute final for the Seattle phenom looking to become the youngest derby winner in history.
- Juan Soto – 19 – longest 471 feet: This secured his victory making quite the final between two of baseball’s top young talents.
The semifinals were between Julio Rodriguez (Mariners) and Pete Alonso (Mets).
- Julio Rodriguez – 31 HR – longest 450 feet: The 21-year-old rookie did it again, bashing 31 homers to put some serious pressure on Alonso, the two-time defending champion.
- Pete Alonso – 24 HR – longest 463 feet: but he lost to Rodriguez as he got unlucky to hit a few off the left-field wall and it would’ve taken a near-perfect round to beat Rodriguez.
And the other pair, Juan Soto (Nationals) and Albert Pujols (Cardinals).
- Alber Pujols – 15 HR – longest 419 feet: The 42-year-old certainly had something left in the tank and put together a strong round that may push Soto to the brink.
- Juan Soto – 16 HR – longest 459 feet: Soto needed most of his bonus time but powered past Pujols, making the most of his minute bonus.