Robert Perez Jr. wins Arizona Fall League Derby 2022

MESA, Ariz. — It has actually been a huge year for Mariners sluggers in Home Run Derbies.

First, Julio Rodríguez charmed with 81 blasts in Los Angeles, consisting of 32 in the opening round, prior to completing 2nd to Juan Soto in the last round. On Saturday, No. 21 Seattle possibility Robert Perez Jr. got to take his hacks.

“Honestly, I watched a couple videos before,” Perez stated, adjusting his backwards cap in a Ken Griffey Jr. design. “This is my first time doing this, so I tried to get some inspiration from him.”

In this case, an M’s right-handed batter ended up the task.

Perez beat Orioles No. 9 possibility Heston Kjerstad, 11-10, in the last round to win the 2022 Arizona Fall League Home Run Derby at Mesa’s Sloan Park. He ended up with 32 homers throughout 3 various rounds, connected with Kjerstad for the most on the night.

The Venezuela native left to a hot start with 13 homers in the preliminary, which lasted 2 minutes and 30 seconds for each of the 8 rivals. That was one of the most of any round by anybody on the night, and he maxed out at 440 feet and an exit speed of 112 miles per hour (on different homers) as he consistently pegged rockets onto the left-field berm.

“Since the beginning,” Perez stated of when he believed he might win. “It felt really good in the first round and had a good rhythm. I was hitting for fun, honestly, and I wanted to stay in the rhythm. I knew it was going to be good, so I won.”

The 22-year-old outfielder followed up his first-round effort with 8 more blasts in the 1-minute, 30-2nd second round, offering him 21 overall. Meanwhile, Kjerstad was the most constant player on the night, driving 11 over the fence in both rounds, while depending on his hallmark upper-cut swing that made him a No. 2 general choose of Arkansas in 2020.

“That’s the name of the game,” he stated. “That’s part of the reason I play baseball. I want to hit the ball far. I want to hit homers. Luckily, that’s part of my game, so it’s a lot of fun.”

Since Kjerstad’s 22 took over Perez’s 21 amongst two-round overalls, the Baltimore slugger was offered the opportunity to pick when he took his last hacks and chosen 2nd. Perez informed his derby pitcher, Junior Betances of the Guardians, that he chose inside pitches he might tug, and the set’s method continued to deal with an 11 area.

As Kjerstad appeared like he was lacking time in the 90-second round, Fall League gamers from numerous companies and AFL clubs collected around Perez to commemorate.

The M’s slugger has actually definitely felt the love over the previous week. On Friday, he was voted into the AFL Fall Stars Game by the fans as a Final 2 prospect, vanquishing 3 players from the American League.

Perez put himself on the radar in a huge method throughout the routine season, when he ended up with 27 homers in between Single-A Modesto and High-A Everett. That bested his previous profession high of 15, set the season prior to completely in the California League. He’s revealed his pop can have fun with 3 homers and a .443 slugging portion over 18 video games with Peoria throughout his time in the desert. But Saturday might have represented his real coming-out celebration on a phase with other prominent potential customers.

“It’s very high, honestly,” Perez stated when asked where the Derby win ranks on his list of baseball achievements. “Everything I can do for baseball and the fans, I’m happy. Honestly, it was my first time doing this, so it was pretty fun.”

He wasn’t alone in those beliefs, even amongst those who didn’t declare a Playstation 5 amongst their Derby jackpots.

“Playing all the games out here and hitting home runs in the games is a lot of fun,” Kjerstad stated. “But being out here in front of the crowd when your main objective is to put on a show off of a BP, that’s definitely up there.”

But for anybody in Seattle worried that Perez, who has excellent raw power even on his regular swings, will begin swinging for the fences in video games to keep his Derby momentum, you can rest simple.

“I’m going to leave it in the Derby,” he stated laughing. “They’re two different things, so I’m just going to leave it.”

The two-round overalls for the other 6 individuals were as follows:

Matt Mervis (Cubs): 19
Andy Pages (Dodgers): 15
Deyvison De Los Santos (D-backs): 14
Jhailyn Ortiz (Phillies): 11
Stephen Scott (Red Sox): 10
Edouard Julien (Twins): 3

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