MLB Player Juan Soto, 23, Becomes Second-Youngest Home Run Derby Winner: 'I'm a Champion'

Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto hit a total of 53 home runs out of Dodger Stadium to win the 2022 Home Run Derby

National League All-Star Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals poses with the 2022 T-Mobile Home Run Derby trophy after winning the event at Dodger Stadium on July 18, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto won the 2022 MLB All-Star Game Home Run Derby on Monday after besting Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The 23-year-old became the second youngest player to win the competition by hitting 53 home runs across three rounds, according to ESPN.

Soto missed the opportunity to claim his place as baseball's youngest ever Home Run Derby champion by just one day — he is only a day older than Juan Gonzalez, who won the event while playing for the Texas Rangers in 1993, according to

Rodriguez, 21, hit the most home runs (81) on Monday across the event's eight competitors. The Seattle center fielder unseated Texas' Corey Seager and back-to-back Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso of the Mets on his way to the final round.

Soto, for his part, defeated Cleveland's Jose Ramirez and the events' elder statesman, St. Louis' Albert Pujols, on his way to face Rodriguez. Soto hit only 10 home runs before he took a timeout during the final round. After making adjustments, he beat Rodriguez's final round score of 18 by just one point in the bonus round.

The Nationals star was a focus of attention at All-Star festivities in Los Angeles after Soto turned down a reported 15-year, $440 million contract extension with the club, potentially opening him up to be traded before MLB's Aug. 2 trading deadline, according to ESPN.

"Right now, I'm not even thinking about it," Soto told ESPN after he won the Home Run Derby and received the competition trophy and a necklace from rapper Bad Bunny. "I'm thinking I'm a champion."

According to ESPN, Soto is the second Washington Nationals player to win the event after Bryce Harper's 2018 win and the first Dominican-born Home Run Derby champion since Robinson Cano won in 2011.

Overall, 291 home runs were sent out of Dodger Stadium by the event's eight contestants Monday, the third most in any Home Run Derby ever, according to The 2019 Derby featured 312 home runs hit, while the 2021 edition provided fans with 309 long balls.

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After winning the event, Soto stands alone in baseball history as the only player to win the World Series, a league batting title, and the Home Run Derby within five years or less, according to Soto won the 2019 World Series with the Nationals and secured the National League's batting title with a .351 batting average in 2020.

Through 91 games this season, Soto has recorded 78 hits, with 20 home runs for a .250 batting average and .405 on-base percentage.

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