Nationals

Mic’d up Soto, Ohtani react to each other’s power at Derby

Nationals
Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani during the 2021 Home Run Derby

Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani put together an epic matchup in the first round of the Home Run Derby on Monday night, combining for 59 homers in a round that required both an overtime period and a swing-off before Soto emerged as the winner.

MLB had both players mic’d up during the event and the two young stars provided several memorable quips while watching each other swing.

The footage showed Ohtani reacting to Soto hitting one home run 520 feet, a record-setting blast so staggering that the Nationals’ outfielder had to ask Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodón where it landed in order to believe it.

Soto also received a pep talk from 2019 Derby runner-up Vladimir Guerrero ahead of the swing off; the advice must have worked because Soto went 3-for-3 on his swings to clinch the victory. Ohtani got a call from Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout on his way to the plate and left the batter’s box a few minutes later with everyone impressed, including Soto.

“Bro, it’s a moonshot every time he hit it,” Soto said to the players around him.

After beating Ohtani, Soto was knocked out in the semifinal round by eventual champion Pete Alonso. Even though neither of them won it, the matchup between Soto and Ohtani will go down as one of the most memorable in Derby history. MLB’s wise choice to mic both of them up during the whole thing only added to the fun.