Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
Juan Soto edged out fellow Dominican countryman Julio Rodriguez in the finals of this years Homerun Derby at Dodger Stadium. The 23 year-old Soto has a World Series title and recently turned down a 15 year 440 million dollar offer from the Washington Nationals. On his way to the finals he defeated future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols.
“He (Pujols) is really special” said Soto. “He put the Dominican Republic ion the map. This could be his last Derby and last All-star game.”
Julio Rodrigue has a few more years until his payday, but if the rookie’s performance in the derby and this season is an omen of future massive contracts, the numbers that will begin to swirl in the event that he takes next year’s event, which is being held in Seattle.
On his way to a second- place finish- the 21-year-old Rodriguez defeated former Dodger Corey Seager in the first round with 32 homers. He then went on to defeat two-time defending champ Pete Alonso of the N.Y. Mets. With 31 “taters”.
His second place finish earned him 750,000 dollars. That’s what he makes annually with the Mariners.
The Derby shows this years there’s a new generation of talent coming to MLB.