National League's Juan Soto, of the Washington Nationals, holds the winner's trophy after the MLB All-Star baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Juan Soto Wins Home Run Derby

Washington Nationals All-Star Outfielder Juan Soto claimed his first-ever Home Run Derby title last night, defeating Julio Rodriguez in the championship round by a score of 19-18.

In spite of the rumors circulating about his future with the Nationals, Soto put his talent on display last night, crushing 53 home runs through three rounds last night.

At 23 years and 266 days old, he is the second-youngest player to ever win the derby and the second-ever Nationals player to take home the trophy.

Players and Fans Recognize Pujols

Although he and Rodriguez put on a show last night, fans couldn’t help but cheer as 20-year veteran Albert Pujols defeated the number 1 seeded Kyle Schwarber in the first round.

After he finished his at-bat, players from both teams gathered at home plate to embrace one of the game’s greats.

Although this moment seemed to have stolen the show, Pujols returned to the batter’s box just a few minutes later as he defeated Schwarber in a swing-off.

As magical as this moment was, Soto put an end to the feel-good story, defeating his childhood idol 16-15 to advance to the championship round.

Making the Dominican Republic Proud

The Dominican Republic was well represented in last night’s Home Run Derby, with three of the final four batters hailing from the Caribbean nation.

Although he finished up just short in the final round, Julio Rodriguez put the league on notice last night, hitting 63 home runs through the first two rounds of the derby.

The rookie captured the attention of all of Major League Baseball, as he assured fans that the youth of the game is in good hands.

Soto vividly expressed his pride for his native country last night, draping himself in the DR flag after hitting the winning-home run and declaring the win a victory for the Dominican Republic.

Soto Deflects Trade Rumors

After a week with some much speculation, Soto enjoyed taking part in the festivities and showing off his skills, as he avenged last year’s second-round exit.

Although he did his best to deflect any questions about hit future, Soto said that it felt uncomfortable to hear all the rumors from this week, despite being told weeks ago that the Nationals would never be trading him.

All-Star Game

Tune in for coverage of the MLB All-Star Game tonight at 7:00 P.M. on 98.1 FM/850 AM.

About Bradley Shimel

Journalism: Sports and Media Major at the University of Florida // Aspiring Broadcast + Written Journalist // Experienced in Graphic Design + Social Media

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