It just wasn’t meant to be.
Despite having a Home Run Derby for the record books, mighty Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez was toppled in the final round by Juan Soto.
The Washington Nationals slugger, meanwhile, showed the world why he’s worth every penny of a $500-million deal smoking 19 home runs in the final round.
JUAN SOTO WINS THE HOME RUN DERBY pic.twitter.com/1CpYTXB2H8
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 19, 2022
As great as the comeback was for Soto, Rodriguez stole the show with a performance for the ages.
The rookie Seattle Mariner blew the doors off the derby cruising through the first two rounds.
Rodriguez bested Texas Ranger Corey Seager in the first round 32 to 24, then blasted another 31 in round two to beat two-time champion Pete Alonso.
Through two rounds, J-Rod totaled 63 home runs becoming the first to ever have two 30-run rounds in the history of the derby. Safe to say he, and his pitcher Franmy Pena, were absolutely dialed in.
Through two rounds, Julio Rodríguez’s 63 total HRs are already third-most in a single #HRDerby
He’s off to the Final Roundpic.twitter.com/p4gvgWXqGu
— ESPN (@espn) July 19, 2022
Come the finals, you could see some fatigue setting in, but Rodriguez still managed to put up 18 dongs. Soto, meanwhile, had a slow start, but turned it on in the end taking it to extra time to hit his 19.
In total, Rodriguez smoked 81 home runs through all three rounds — 10 back of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who in 2019 smoked 91 (!) homers, but lost to Pete Alonso in the finals.
One has to wonder if this whole thing needs to be rejigged considering those performances.
The derby got started off in a big way as Julio Rodriguez stepped up to the plate mashing 32 dingers right off the top. He topped up opponent Corey Seager, who st …
Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation