LOS ANGELES -- Last offseason, Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn decided to try to hit with more power, focusing on driving the ball instead of doing what had worked well for him in the Minor Leagues.
"I was trying to go out and drive the ball and do stuff that wasn't a strong suit for me," Gwynn said Wednesday. "You are what you are. And there's nothing wrong with just being an on-base [percentage] guy, hitting the ball consistently.
"This season, I got away from what I was good at."
Gwynn, who has been limited in recent weeks after having surgery to repair a fractured hamate bone in his right hand, is hitting .211 in 280 at-bats. Last season, he hit .270. He is also a career .275 hitter in the Minor Leagues with a .349 on-base percentage.
Gwynn accepted responsibility for getting away from being the kind of hitter that he has always been. He had success last season and wanted to expand on that. That backfired as he never got in good offensive rhythm due to the fact that he tried to be something that he wasn't.
"My swing has never been longer in my career than it was this season," said Gwynn, the son of the Hall of Fame outfielder by the same name.
Gwynn missed 23 games while on the disabled list from Aug. 19-Sept. 13 but used that time to pick the brain of several hitters on the team, like veteran Matt Stairs.
"Anyone who was willing to talk to me, I listened," Gwynn said. "I was still able to get something from that time."