The grandson of a Natchitoches couple has slugged his way to second place in the MLB Jr. Home Run Derby. Maddox Johnson Jr., 12, is the grandson of John and Gilda Johnson and son of James C. Johnson and Amanda Pickens-Johnson of Dallas. Johnson won the Dallas Regional Jr. Home Run Derby in August for the right to compete in the finals.
The final competition was Nov. 1 at Truist Park, home of the 2021 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves. After batting practice, participants saw 20 machine-pitched baseballs while trying to hit them over the wall measuring 225 feet from home plate.
The two-part competition saw eight finalists take swings in round one for their chance to advance to the finals in round two. In round one, Johnson hit nine home runs, securing his place to compete in the finals. Also advancing to the finals was New England Regional Champ Lorenzo Flores who had eight home runs in round one. In the finals, Flores hit 12 home runs and Johnson took second place with eight homers.
Although Maddox didn’t win the championship, he will have lasting memories from a weekend at the World Series.
The Jr. Home Run Derby Finals streamed live on MLB.com.