Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. Relied on Familiar Mentor To Get His Groove Back

Tatis Jr. has seen a massive change this season.
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The San Diego Padres entered the 2024 season ready to put the failure of 2023 behind them. They put together a well-rounded roster, and were banking on star players having bounceback seasons.

One star the team was most hopeful about: outfielder Fernando Tatis. Jr., who for years has been touted as the face of the franchise. Tatis Jr. had a down year in 2023 compared to his standards, on the heels of a drug suspension and wrist surgery. He worked all offseason to make sure a repeat performance was not in order.

Tatis Jr. started the 2024 season very strong, but soon found himself in a little bit of a slump. However, he didn't panic and used the resources closest to him to navigate it all.

Tatis Jr. relied on the mentorship of a familiar person in his life — his father, Fernando Tatis Sr. — to help him get through his struggles. Tatis Jr. spoke with the San Diego Union-Tribune about how his dad helped him deal with the ups and downs of the long season.

“I had a good start, the first three weeks,” Tatis said. “And then I start hitting the ball to people. When that happens, you’re trying to get a little bit more because you hit a line drive to everybody, and you don’t want to keep doing that. And that’s when you get in trouble and you get (away) from yourself. I definitely got lost a little bit. Thank God that I have the dad that I have. He came in at a clutch time, and we just went back to basics and going back to trusting myself.”

On the year, Tatis Jr. is hitting .280 with 13 home runs and 35 runs batted in. He has been a centerpiece for what the Padres have wanted to do this season and is a big reason why they currently sit above a .500 record.

San Diego is 37-35 on the season, second place within the National League West division. They will need Tatis Jr. to continue his bounceback year if they want to make noise down the stretch. And as long as Tatis Jr. has his resources to rely on, there is no reason to think he can't keep it up.

Matt Levine


Matt earned a Master of Science degree in Sport Management from Louisiana State University in 2021. He was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, covering all Southern California sports in his career.