(Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, presented by NJM Insurance Group, are excited to announce their 2022 coaching staff for the upcoming season. Manager Jeff Manto returns for his second season after leading the Thunder to the inaugural league Championship in 2021 with a 30-18-8 record. The 9-year Major League
(Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, presented by NJM Insurance Group, are excited to announce their 2022 coaching staff for the upcoming season. Manager Jeff Manto returns for his second season after leading the Thunder to the inaugural league Championship in 2021 with a 30-18-8 record. The 9-year Major League veteran and Bristol, PA native is joined by newcomers Shawn Chacon (8-year Major League veteran and 2006 Thunder alum) and Philadelphia native David Miller, the 23rd overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft.
"I'm thrilled to have Jeff Manto back to lead the Thunder for the 2022 season and defend our championship title," said Thunder President/GM Jeff Hurley. "Jeff is the perfect fit for the Trenton Thunder organization as a local resident with a great baseball background. I would also like to welcome Shawn and David to the Thunder organization and look forward to working with them during the 2022 season."
“I’m extremely excited about the return as manager of the Trenton Thunder for the 2022 season," said Jeff Manto. "It is an honor to lead such a storied franchise with the best fans in baseball and a championship tradition. It is something I am extremely proud of and do not take for granted. It is my goal to bring another title back to Trenton along with developing some of the best draft prospects. I would like to thank Kerrick Jackson (League President) and PBR/MLB for making my job easier with the coaching staff they have assembled.”
Jeff Manto is entering his second season managing the Thunder after being 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 14Tth 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.
Shawn Chacon returns to Trenton for his first season as pitching coach after an 8-year Major League career that featured 269 appearances and a 2003 National League All-Star selection with the Colorado Rockies. He’s no stranger to the area after being traded to the New York Yankees from Colorado just before the 2005 trade deadline. In perhaps the most memorable stretch of his career, the righthander went 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA over the final two months of the regular season, helping the Yankees win the A.L. East. In the only postseason start of his career in the Division Series against the Anaheim Angels, Chacon took a no decision in Game 4 to keep the Yankees season alive, allowing just two runs over six-and-a-third innings.
The following year, in 2006, Chacon made a five-inning rehab start for the Thunder on June 4 against the Reading Phillies before returning to the Yankees the following week. He was later traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 31, spending parts of two seasons there before his final Major League season with the Houston Astros in 2008.
David Miller rounds out the field staff as the Thunder hitting coach for the 2022 season. The Philadelphia native is in his first season as the Head Coach at Penn State Abington after serving in the same role with La Salle University for the last four years. Miller engineered a complete turnaround with the Explorers program and was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year in 2021 after setting a school record with 32 wins and tying a program record with 15 A-10 wins. Unfortunately, La Salle University included baseball on its list of seven varsity sports that were eliminated for sustainability reasons.
As a player, Miller was the 23rd overall pick in the 1995 Draft by the Cleveland Indians after an All-American career at Clemson University. He spent two seasons in the Eastern League with the Akron Aeros in 1997 and 2000, and bridged that gap with 225 games over three seasons with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. After playing his final season with the Camden Riversharks in the Atlantic League in 2003, Miller started his coaching career at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. He has also been an assistant coach at Rutgers-Camden, Villanova, and William & Mary.
The 2021 Thunder had seven players selected in the MLB Draft, with an additional 13 players signing free agent contracts with both affiliated and independent teams. RHP Ethan Routzahn was signed by the San Diego Padres and made two scoreless appearances with Triple-A El Paso to end the season, shortstop Carson Matthews had three hits in 11 ABs for the Rocket City Trash Pandas (LAA, Double-A), and RHP Jack Carey pitched in three games with the Greensboro Grasshoppers (PIT, High-A).
The Thunder open up the 2022 season on the road on Thursday, June 2 against the Frederick Keys. The home opener is Tuesday, June 7 at 7:00 PM against the Williamsport Crosscutters, where the first 2,000 Thunder fans will receive a 2022 magnetic schedule, courtesy of MCIA. It’s also Girl Scout Night at Trenton Thunder Ballpark, with $1 hot dogs, and Kids Eat Free!
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 | Founding Member of the MLB Draft League
The Trenton Thunder have drawn over 10 million fans over 28 years and have won the three major awards that Minor League Baseball teams can win; the Johnson Trophy for the "Nation's Best Franchise" (2005), the Larry MacPhail Trophy for Outstanding Club Promotion (2003) and the Bob Frietas Award for Long-Term Success (1998, given by Baseball America). The team has given back over $7.5 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 trentonthunder.com, facebook.com/trentonthunder, twitter.com/trentonthunder, and on youtube.com/AATrentonThunder.