Thunder Finalize Coaching Staff For 2024 Season

Matt Sweeney & Shaun Chacon Return to Trenton, Ron Perodin Named Hitting Coach
Coaching Staff Announced

(Trenton, NJ) -- The Trenton Thunder, presented by NJM Insurance Group, are pleased to announce their new coaching staff for the 2024 season in the MLB Draft League under first-year manager Adonis Smith. 2006 Thunder alum Shawn Chacon returns for his third season as Pitching Coach, after a team-high seven Thunder pitchers were selected by Major League teams in the 2023 MLB Draft. The seven Thunder pitchers that were selected in the 2023 Major League Baseball Draft: RHP Carlson Reed (4th Round, Pittsburgh Pirates), RHP Ryan Birchard (5th Round, Milwaukee Brewers), LHP Magdiel Cotto (11th Round, Pittsburgh Pirates), RHP Jeremy Lee (13th Round, Minnesota Twins), RHP Carlton Perkins (15th Round, Chicago White Sox), RHP Austin Amaral (16th Round, Washington Nationals), and RHP Donye Evans (16th Round, Detroit Tigers).

RELATED: Thunder Name Adonis Smith Manager for 2024 Draft League Season

Chacon spent 8-years pitching at the Major League level for the Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Houston Astros. Shawn finished his playing career with 922 innings pitched, totaling 619 strikeouts, and holding opponents to a .261 average against.

“I’m grateful to be a part of the MLB Draft League and the Thunder staff for my third season," says Thunder pitching coach Shawn Chacon. “The Thunder Organization is top notch, and I can’t wait to see the talent this year. Every year it gets better, and I’m honored to be able to help these players develop into professionals."

Matt Sweeney returns to Trenton’s coaching staff for his second year after taking over for Chacon in the second half of 2023 while he was expecting the birth of his child. Sweeney, a local product out of Steinert High School, was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 11th round in 2001. Matt pitched for the Single-A Lakewood Blue Claws as well as the Double-A Reading Phillies during his 8-year career. In 2005, Sweeney had one of his best seasons making 13 appearances, including seven starts for Lakewood, finishing the year with a 2.43 earned run average.

In Sweeney’s first season with the Thunder, he saw two of his pitchers’ ink contracts with Major League teams, with both RHP Nick Payero and LHP Jonah Hurney signing with the Cincinnati Reds.

“I could not be any happier to rejoin the Thunder coaching staff for the 2024 season and have the opportunity to work with such great coaches, players, staff, front office personnel, and fans,” says Thunder Coach Matt Sweeney. “This opportunity means a lot to me personally and having the chance to do this with my family in my hometown is something I am incredibly grateful for. I am looking forward to another successful season.”

Joining the Thunder staff as the new Hitting Coach is Ron Perodin after serving in the same role a season ago with the Williamsport Crosscutters. This will be Perodin’s third year coaching in the MLB Draft League, and his second year as hitting coach. In 2022, he served as the outfield and base running coach for Williamsport. Perodin was a 27th round draft pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2002 and spent four seasons in the Twins organization before a five-year Independent League career. He stole 161 bases in his pro-career and batted .277.

The Thunder kick off the 2024 season at Trenton Thunder Ballpark on Tuesday, June 4 at 7:00 PM against the State College Spikes. For full ticket pricing and information, partnership/sponsorship opportunities, and information about special events at Trenton Thunder Ballpark, please visit or call the Thunder Box Office at (609) 394-3300, opt 4.

About Trenton Thunder Baseball

The Trenton Thunder have drawn over 10.7 million fans over 30 years and have won the three major awards that Minor League Baseball teams can win: the Johnson Trophy for the "Nation's Best Franchise", the Larry MacPhail Trophy for Outstanding Club Promotion, and the Bob Frietas Award for Long-Term Success (Given by Baseball America). The team has given back over $8.5 million worth of goods, services, and monetary donations through Trenton Thunder Charities, under the Grand Slam We Care Foundation umbrella. The Thunder can be found online at