Nationals slugger Juan Soto defeated Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez 19-18 in the final to capture the Home Run Derby title at Dodger Stadium.
Soto, who was competing in the Derby for the second time, had nine homers in the final minute of regulation in the two-minute final. He added four more in bonus time, his clinching blast coming with 19 seconds remaining. He threw his bat way in the air after the deciding shot cleared the fence.
Soto, the fourth seed, is the second Nationals player to win the Derby. Bryce Harper won it in 2018 in Washington.
Soto earns a $1 million prize and another highlight on his resume as his time with Washington possibly nears an end. The Athletic reported over the weekend that Soto turned down a $440 million, 15-year contract to stay with the Nationals, and he could be traded by the end of the month.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 18: National League All-Star Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals reacts while competing during the 2022 T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium on July 18, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Washington’s Juan Soto advanced to the final with a 16-15 victory over St. Louis slugger and sentimental favorite Albert Pujols.
Soto, the fourth seed, hit a 405-foot shot with 31 seconds remaining in bonus time. He will face sixth seeded Julio Rodríguez of Seattle in the final.
The 42-year-old Pujols averaged 395 feet on his homers while 23-year-old Soto averaged 424 feet.
Per MLB, check out Soto's stats in the championship round:
LONGEST HR: 471 feet
HARDEST HR: 111 mph
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 428 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 106.8
The Associated Press contributed to this report.