The annual mid-summer classic of Major League Baseball has arrived in Los Angeles, California and Dodgers Stadium.
The festivities begin with the Home Run Derby and eight of the best hitters in baseball where they face off to see who can launch the baseball the furtherest and the most often.
Two time Derby winner Pete Alonso is going for the three-peat after hitting a total of 131 home runs over the past two years.
Eight seed Albert Pujols is the oldest player in the Derby this year at 42 when he returns after a seven year absence. This is his fifth Derby appearance.
In a stadium known for its fans being “fashionably late”, Dodgers Stadium is packed with fans to watch the fireworks as the baseball fly out of the park.
Each batter will have three minutes to hit as many homers as possible. If a batter hits two balls at least 440 feet, he will receive an additional 30 seconds of clock time to hit more homers.
In round three the final two batters will receive only two minutes.
Players are allowed a 45 second timeout for each round.
In case of a tiebreaker, each batter gets one minute to hit as many homers as he can. If the numbers are still tied, there will be a swing-off where each batter gets three swings.
First up to the plate is the youngest player in this year’s Derby, 21 year old Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners. It took three pitches for J-Rod to hit his first home run. J-Rod earned his 30 second bonus time less than halfway through his three minute time limit. With his longest homer traveling 463 feet, J-Rod hits a total of 32 home runs.
Corey Seager comes to the plate in hopes of topping J-Rod’s 32 home runs. His first pitch went over the fence to get the parade of moonshots started. With his Dad throwing the balls, Seager hit a total of 24 home runs.
Julio Rodriguez wins the matchup and will move on to the next round.
Next up is Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr who hit just 19 home runs. He failed to earn any bonus time for the 440 foot homers.
Acuna is going against the reigning champion Pete Alonso of the New York Mets. He needed only four home runs to earn his bonus time. Pete Alonso hit homer number 20 with 28 seconds remaining on his bonus clock to win the matchup. Alonso and Julio Rodriguez will face off against each other in round number two. Alonso noted that any money earned will go his foundation to help others.
Jose Ramirez gets the next pairing started off. While he hit a total of 17 home runs, Ramirez failed to earn any bonus time.
Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto takes the plate and needs only 18 homers to move on to the next round. After having his pitcher move back a few feet, Soto needed only his first three minutes to hit his 18 home runs. While he earned some bonus time, Soto did not need to use any of it.
In the final matchup for round one, Albert Pujols takes the place first and hit only 13 home runs. The oldest player to ever be a part of the Derby, Pujols failed to earn any bonus time. With 685 career home runs, Albert Pujols ranks fifth in the total number of home runs. He is met at the plate by every player to pay their respects in the future Hall of Famers final Home Run Derby.
The final batter in round one is Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies. Schwarber also hit just 13 home runs and will enter a one minute tie breaker with Albert Pujols.
The home runs hit in the one minute tiebreaker are added to the previous home run total.
After his one minute round, Albert Pujols has a total of 20 home runs.
After his one minute round, Kyle Schwarber hit a total of 18 home runs.
Number eight seed Albert Pujols bets the number one seed Kyle Schwarber to move on to the next round.
Juan Soto hit the longest home run of round run at 482 feet.
In round two…
Kicking off round two, Julio Rodriguez takes the plate as the shadows have covered the field. After hitting 32 homers in round one, J-Rod hits 23 before his bonus time. J-Rod’s round two total homers is 31 for two 30 home run rounds. In previous Home Run Derbies, there has been only four 30 home run at bats.
Pete Alonso takes the plate for his round two at bat. He hit 28 home runs in round one. He needs a total of 31 homers to beat J-Rod in this round. Unable to get fully into his groove, Pete Alonso fails to knock enough balls out of the park in his bid to be the first player to win three Derbies in a row. Pete Alonso hit 23 homers in round two.
Julio Rodriguez moves on to the finals and will face off against the winner of Juan Soto and Albert Pujols matchup.
First up is Albert Pujols. After taking over 20 seconds before he hit his first home run, Pujols hit 15 home runs and no bonus time. Pujols has a total of 106 home runs in his five Derby appearances – second only to Pete Alonso.
The final batter in round two is Juan Soto who took nearly a minute before he hit his first home run. Soto hit 13 homers in his first three minutes but has earned his bonus time. With 24 seconds of bonus time remaining, Juan Soto hits home run number 16 to win the round. He will face Julio Rodriguez for the title of Home Run Derby champion in 2022.
Julio Rodriguez takes the plate first for the final round. The batters get only two minutes for this round. The bonus round is also in play. J-Rod hit 18 home runs with no bonus time. He hit a total of 81 home runs in his three rounds at the plate.
The final at bat for the 2022 Home Run Derby is Juan Soto. With 14 seconds left on the bonus clock, Juan Soto wins the 2022 Home Run Derby.