San Diego Padres outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. is trying to stay positive. The slugger is dealing with a hitting slump, and his team is under .500 on the season. Still, he's not getting too discouraged about his struggles.

“I need to play better,” Tatis said, per “Then my swagger will come back.”

Tatis had his swagger appear for a brief time during his team's loss on Saturday to the New York Yankees. The Padres slugger hit a solo home run in the game, which turned out to be the only offense for San Diego.

Tatis and the Padres

San Diego Padres right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) hits a two-run home run against the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning at Petco Park.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Tatis has been struggling through an 8-for-47 slump for the Padres. His slump has caused him to drop his usual theatrics when running the bases during a home run. Tatis' regular routine is to stutter-and-hop when reaching third on a home run jog. He failed to do that when he homered for San Diego on Saturday. The outfielder admitted he just doesn't feel connected to his swagger at the moment, and didn't want to do it.

“They've just been outsmarting me right now,” Tatis added. “I just keep missing pitches. That should not be happening.”

Tatis is usually a reliable cog in the San Diego offense. He is hitting just .244 this season though, compared to just two years ago when he posted a batting average at .282. Tatis' solo shot on Saturday was his only home run in the last ten games. The Padres need a lot more out of him in order to turn around their season. He hasn't had a multi-hit game in weeks, which is not giving San Diego enough scoring offense.

Tatis is also striking out far too regularly at the plate. In 2023, the outfielder had a total of 141 strikeouts. In just two months this season, the outfielder has 54. He's on pace to surpass last year's strikeout total if he doesn't get his mojo going again at the plate.

San Diego's season

The Padres are having a tough time adjusting to the loss of Juan Soto. Soto is having a great season with the New York Yankees, and he homered against his former team on Friday. Tatis may be putting too much pressure on himself to pick up the slack with Soto gone. The outfielder says his approach to each at-bat needs some work.

“I need to stop missing my fastball that many times,” Tatis added. “They've given me pitches I should be driving. Right now I'm just missing them. I need to get more picky. … I probably need to learn how to be a little bit more patient on the plate. But that's kind of not myself as a hitter. So it's more controlling my damage zone. I see it that way.”

Tatis gets his next chance to get that swagger back on Sunday. The Padres look for a win in a series against the Yankees. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:10 Eastern. The Padres have dropped two straight in the series against New York. San Diego holds a 27-28 record on the season.