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Juan Soto wins 2022 MLB Home Run Derby as sports world reacts

Vincent Frank

Washington Nationals star Juan Soto overcame an amazing performance from Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez to win the 2022 Home Run Derby.

While Rodriguez bested Soto with 81 total homers compared to 53, the latter came out on top by belting 19 homers in the final round.

The crazy thing here is that Soto’s performance at Dodger Stadium in Southern California Monday night came mere days after reports surfaced that Washington was willing to listen to offers for Soto in trade talks with other teams. The star outfielder apparently turned down a 15-year, $440 million extension offer to remain in D.C. for the long run.

Earlier in the day, Soto spoke on the trade rumors with his agent, Scott Boras, flanking him. The 23-year-old outfielder displayed “frustration” by how the process played out.

Hours later, and Juan Soto became the second-young player to ever win the MLB Home Run Derby behind Ken Griffey Jr.

While it was a struggle for Soto throughout and most fans were rooting for Rodriguez, he came up big time when it counted the most in the final round.

It’s pretty crazy to look at. The same derby that saw 42-year-old St. Louis Cardinals star Albert Pujols compete for the final time included two players in Soto (23) and Rodriguez (21) who don’t even remember when Pujols made his MLB debut back in April of 2001. Think about that for a second.

Related: Ideal Juan Soto trade scenarios

Sports world reacts to Juan Soto winning MLB Home Run Derby