Mariners All-Star Week tracker: Soto defeats Julio Rodriguez in Home Run Derby final

American League’s Julio Rodriguez, of the Seattle Mariners, bats during the MLB All-Star baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Julio Rodriguez and Ty France have arrived at Dodger Stadium to represent the Seattle Mariners at the All-Star Game.

Rodriguez will kick off the festivities at Monday’s Home Run Derby, and France will join the 21-year-old rookie in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Follow The News Tribune’s Mariners All-Star tracker for updates on both events at All-Star Week:


7:45 p.m. -- Nationals outfielder Juan Soto defeated Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez in the Home Run Derby, blasting 19 homers across a three-minute final round to win the title at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Rodriguez took the first pair of rounds by storm, launching 32 home runs to best Rangers shortstop Corey Seager in the quarterfinals, plus 31 more to beat New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso — who was the two-time defending champion — in the semifinals.

“Amazing … great young kid,” Soto said of Rodriguez on ESPN after the final round. “A lot of power.”

Rodriguez mashed 81 total homers Monday night, grabbing the attention of Hall-of-Famers and current All-Stars in attendance. No other player came close to that number, including the eventual winner in Soto, who hit 53.

“He’s unbelievable,” Tigers infielder Miguel Cabera told ESPN. “He’s got great power.”

Ken Griffey Jr., the only three-time champion in the history of the derby, said: “(Julio’s) impressive, but he’s built for this. He’s a big kid. He’s solid and put together. It’s fun to watch.”

The “J-Rod Show” impressed on the national stage and the performance resulted in a runner-up finish for the 21-year-old rookie, who is set to make a $750,000 bonus for taking second place, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Rodriguez’s salary for the 2022 season is $700,000.

Rodriguez hit 18 homers in the final round, receiving only two-and-a-half minutes to Soto’s three. Rodriguez did not hit two homers of 440 feet or more and failed to receive an additional 30 seconds of bonus time.

Soto’s victory came days after initial reports that the 23-year-old All-Star had rejected a 15-year, $440 million extension from the Washington Nationals, which would have made him the highest-paid player in baseball history.

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Washington “plans to entertain” trade offers for the star outfielder, meaning Soto could be on the move before the Aug. 2 trade deadline.

Next year’s derby and All-Star Game are hosted by the Mariners at T-Mobile Park, where Rodriguez could look to avenge his loss in the championship round.

7:20 p.m. — Julio Rodriguez will face Washington outfielder Juan Soto in the Home Run Derby final. Rodriguez took down two-time reigning champion Pete Alonso with 31 homers in the semifinals, while Soto needed only 16 homers to advance, defeating Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols.

7 p.m. — Julio Rodriguez is a Home Run Derby finalist, and defeated the two-time defending champion to get there.

The “J-Rod Show” continued in the second round, as Rodriguez mashed another 31 homers in the semifinals, defeating New York Mets infielder Pete Alonso.

Entering Monday’s contest, only four players in the history of the Home Run Derby had launched 30 home runs in a single round.

Rodriguez already has two such rounds. He’s the first player in history to do so in a single derby, and will face the winner of a semifinals meeting between Washington’s Juan Soto and St. Louis’ Albert Pujols for the crown.

Alonso won in 2019 as a rookie and again in 2021 — there was no derby in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic — but Rodriguez led off the semifinals and nearly matched his first-round total. He crushed 23 homers in the opening three minutes, plus another eight in an added minute of bonus time.

5:40 p.m. — Julio Rodriguez may be the youngest player competing in Monday night’s Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium, but the 21-year-old took little time to prove he belonged.

By the end of the first round, Rodriguez had crushed 32 homers in four minutes, defeating Texas shortstop Corey Seager and advancing to the semifinals.

The first to step into the batter’s box, Rodriguez homered on his third and fourth swings, and by the end of a three-minute regulation period, had dumped 25 baseballs into Dodger Stadium’s outfield bleachers.

Players receive 30 seconds of bonus time after each round, and are rewarded with 30 additional seconds given they hit two homers over 440 feet. In the first round, Rodriguez hit 10 such blasts.

The longest of Rodriguez’s 32 homers carried 463 feet; J-Rod averaged 420 feet per home run in the first round. He launched 13,437 feet worth of homers in four minutes, the fifth-most in any derby round since Statcast began tracking that number in 2016.

One minute of bonus time and seven home runs later, Rodriguez capped an impressive first round in his derby debut and created a difficult path for the opposing Seager.

“I went out there and did what I wanted to. I went out there and had fun,” Rodriguez told ESPN. “It was a great experience. I’m happy to be here right now.”

Seager homered on his first two swings but was eliminated after finishing with 24.

Rodriguez moves on to the semifinals to meet the two-time defending champion in New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, who bested Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. in the first round.

Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols, participating in his fifth and final derby, defeated Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber in a one-minute swing-off after both hit 13 homers in the opening round. Washington’s Juan Soto (18 homers) took down Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez in the first round (17).

This story will be updated.