Julio Rodriguez Stole the Show Early, Juan Soto takes the 2022 MLB Home Run Derby Crown

Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

There were plenty of storylines in the 2022 MLB Home Run Derby. There was a 21-year-old rookie sensation in Julio Rodriguez, the wily veteran in Albert Pujols, and Pete Alonso looking to three-peat, which has never been done before. Cleveland fans were also interested as Jose Ramirez was making his first appearance.

The competition started off with a bang, as Ronald Acuna Jr. almost got set on fire by the shooting flames on stage as the matchup between Jose and Juan Soto was announced.

Rodriguez took the nation by storm, hitting 32 homers in round one with Ken Griffey Jr off in the distance taking photos of him. It felt like Corey Seager was eliminated before he could even get to the plate. With his Dad pitching to him, he ended with 24 homers.

On the other side of the bracket, Jose took on Juan Soto. In a shocking turn of events, Jose ended up hitting from the right side of the plate. This could be due to comfortability, or the fact the ball carries better to left field at Dodger Stadium. The hope was that Soto would be distracted with all the recent trade buzz surrounding him, but that hope quickly dwindled.