Baseball’s biggest sluggers will battle it out at Dodger Stadium on Monday in the annual T-Mobile Home Run Derby (8 p.m. ET on ESPN). Here’s a breakdown of the first-round matchup between No. 4 seed Juan Soto and No. 5 seed José Ramírez. (Seeding is based on 2022 home run totals through July 12.)
Juan Soto, Nationals
Born: Oct. 25, 1998 (Age 23)
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Signed: July 2, 2015 (Nationals)
Debuted: May 20, 2018 (Nationals)
Jersey number: 22
José Ramírez, Guardians
Born: Sept. 17, 1992 (Age 29)
Birthplace: Bani, Dominican Republic
Signed: Nov. 26, 2009 (Indians)
Debuted: Sept. 1, 2013
Jersey number: 11
Soto (19 HR): Soto’s still found a way to mash even in a "down" year. While he’s only batting .250, Soto’s hit 19 home runs, the sixth-highest total among outfielders. Soto’s been on a tear recently, as he’s batting .425 with five homers and 10 RBIs in July.
Ramírez (19 HR): There’s a reason Ramírez leads the American League with 75 RBIs. The newly extended Guardian has 19 long balls despite only having six home runs since June 1st.
Soto (117 HR): It’s hard to believe Soto is only 23 years old. The "Childish Bambino" is on pace to surpass his season high of 34 home runs from 2019.
Ramírez (182 HR): In Ramírez’s first four seasons in the bigs, he hit 19 home runs in 1,129 at-bats. In 2017, he hit 29 homers in 585 at-bats, setting off what has now been a five-plus-year power surge. He’s slugged 163 home runs since 2017 -- tied for the eighth-highest total in baseball with Giancarlo Stanton.
Soto: His moonshot last year deserves more recognition. His skyscraping shot ended up in the second deck of Coors Field. We still can’t believe it happened.
Ramírez: Just because Ramírez doesn’t have a home run that’s gone more than 450 feet doesn’t mean he's lacking in power. He set a career high with 21 "no-doubter" home runs last year, with his farthest traveling 429 feet.