Soto vs. J-Ram: Tale of the Tape for ’22 Derby

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On Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET, Reggaeton legends Luny Tunes and DJ Nelson will face off in a Verzuz battle at MLB’s All-Star House in the Hollywood Hills. You can watch live on Verzuz’s social platforms and at verzuztv.com.

And then on Monday night, baseball’s biggest sluggers will battle it out at Dodger Stadium 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 Jos? Ram?rez. (Seeding is based on 2022 home run totals through July 12.)

FAST FACTS

Juan Soto, NationalsBorn: Oct. 25, 1998 (Age 23)Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican RepublicSigned: July 2, 2015 (Nationals)Debuted: May 20, 2018 (Nationals)Bats: LeftJersey number: 22

Jos? Ram?rez, GuardiansBorn: Sept. 17, 1992 (Age 29)Birthplace: Bani, Dominican RepublicSigned: Nov. 26, 2009 (Indians)Debuted: Sept. 1, 2013Bats: SwitchJersey number: 11

2022 NUMBERS

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.

Ram?rez (19 HR): There’s a reason Ram?rez leads the American League with 75 RBIs. The newly extended Guardian has 19 long balls despite only having six home runs since June 1st.

CAREER NUMBERS

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.

Ram?rez (182 HR): In Ram?rez’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.

DERBY HISTORY

Soto (2nd appearance): Soto made his presence known in his debut last year, smashing 46 homers, one of which traveled a Derby-record 520 feet. Soto defeated AL MVP Shohei Ohtani in the first round.

Ram?rez (1st appearance): This will be first time in the Derby for Ram?rez, who has been invited in the past but could never make it work. He still has yet to decide which side of the plate he’ll hit from.

STATCAST CRED

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.

Ram?rez: Just because Ram?rez 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.