(Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, presented by NJM Insurance Group, are excited to announce that Manager Jeff Manto is returning for his third season after leading the Thunder to the inaugural Futures League Championship in 2021 with a 30-18-8 record. The 9-year Major League veteran and Bristol, Pennsylvania native became the 20th member of the Trenton Baseball Hall of Fame on August 12, 2022 and is the fourth manager in Thunder history to receive the honor.
“This is a great opportunity,” Manto said. “Trenton’s meant a lot to me and my family. It's just been everything I thought it would be because the front office, ownership, and fans treat you great. Trenton Thunder Ballpark is still an exciting place to watch a game and it’s been exciting for me to manage here the last two seasons.”
Last season, the Thunder tied for the league lead with 10 players selected in the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft. Shortstop Nate Ochoa was the first Futures League player selected when he was drafted in the 6th Round by the Washington Nationals. In the past two MLB Drafts, a total of 17 Thunder players have been selected by Major League teams, with over 15 additional players signing free agent contracts with professional teams.
“This league is only going to continue to get better because even in a three-year period, the players that are coming here are getting better,” Manto added. “I think these players recognize that what we’re doing here is legitimate and that we can help them get better because scouts still trust us in our evaluations.”
Manto was previously the Minor League hitting coordinator for the Baltimore Orioles from 2014 to 2019. Before Baltimore, Manto spent six seasons with the Chicago White Sox. During his first four seasons, he was the Minor League hitting coordinator before being promoted to the big league club as the hitting coach for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. In 2012, Manto helped guide Adam Dunn to the American League’s Comeback Player of the Year Award. Manto got his coaching career started with the Phillies in 2001 and was manager of the Lakewood BlueClaws in 2002. After spending 2003 to 2006 as the Minor League hitting coordinator for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Manto was promoted to Major League hitting coach for three seasons. During that time, he helped former Thunder star Freddy Sanchez win the 2006 National League batting title with a .344 average.
Manto’s playing career began in 1985 after being drafted out of Temple University by the California Angels in the 14th round. He later made his Major League debut in 1990 with the Cleveland Indians. During his career, he also played for the Phillies, Orioles, Red Sox, Mariners, Tigers, Yankees, and Rockies. He shares two MLB records during his playing career with five home runs in three days and four home runs in four consecutive at bats.
The Thunder kick off our 30th season at Trenton Thunder Ballpark on Thursday, June 1 at 7:00 PM against the Frederick Keys. The Opening Night Party will feature a Postgame Fireworks Show, sponsored by NJM Insurance Group. And the first 1,030 fans will receive a commemorative inaugural ticket celebrating our very first home opener on May 9, 1994.
For full ticket pricing and information, partnership/sponsorship opportunities, and information about special events at Trenton Thunder Ballpark, please visit trentonthunder.com or call the Thunder Box Office at (609) 394-3300, opt 4.
New Jersey's Baseball Team | Big League Futures. Major League Fun.
The Trenton Thunder have drawn over 10 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 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 trentonthunder.com