Jesus Is Just Somewhat Alright (even littler Arthur Reid Reynolds known version).
Safeco had a reputation for killing right-handed hitters, and it earned it. Safeco didn’t have a reputation for killing Bret Boone, because Boone knew how to hit and hit for power to right. Safeco only killed righties who hit like righties, and Boone didn’t hit like a righty. The hope was that Montero wouldn’t hit like a righty, either. That Montero could go the other way was a major reason why he appealed to the Mariners so damn much.
Since the Mariners traded for Jesus Montero, the Mariners played a whole season. According to FanGraphs, in 2012 Montero hit three home runs to the opposite field. According to FanGraphs, in 2011 Montero hit three home runs to the opposite field, in 12 percent as many plate appearances. Not one of those opposite-field home runs in 2012 was hit in Safeco, as Montero instead went yard in Texas, Tampa Bay, and New York.
Beyond that, Montero is given credit for 116 balls in play to right. He had 28 hits, just five for extra bases. Last year, 97 players knocked at least 100 balls in play to the opposite field. Montero’s opposite-field wOBA—.250—ranked tenth-worst. There are some good players near him, but this was supposed to be one of Montero’s strengths, and instead going to right seemed like a weakness. Or at least going to right and having success seemed like a weakness.