As members of the MLB Draft League, the roster of the Trenton Thunder is full of players who are looking for their chance in an MLB organization. These next few days of the MLB Draft will be where many of the Thunder’s best players get their chance to begin their journey to the big leagues.
While no players from the Thunder were selected on day one of the draft, there will surely be members of the team who are selected over the course of the final 18 rounds of the Draft. Here are some of the Thunder players who may hear their names called over the next two days.
RHP Micah Bucknam
Bucknam was one of the most hyped prospects on the Thunder this summer, as he was one of the only players entering with no college experience and is currently committed to play in college at LSU, one of the powerhouses in college baseball. Bucknam didn’t disappoint, dominating Draft League competition, pitching to an extraordinary 0.53 ERA in five starts and 17 innings pitched.
Bucknam struck out 15 hitters and walked only five, and his miniscule 0.76 WHIP illustrates how dominant he really was. Despite having yet to appear in college, he was already drafted once last summer by the Blue Jays in the 16th round, and with his performance in the Draft League this year, Bucknam could see himself being picked higher than that this time around.
C Andrew Cossetti
Cossetti has been the Thunder’s best position player this season, mashing the ball to the tune of a .410 batting average, .484 on base percentage, and .628 slugging percentage. These video game numbers have undoubtedly helped Cossetti’s stock, and he was already on the radar after putting up equally impressive numbers last season in college at St. Joe’s, with a 1.167 OPS and 19 home runs in 54 games for the Hawks. These elite hitting numbers combined with his ability to play catcher mean that Cossetti could be a steal for whoever ends up selecting him in the draft.
Update: Cossetti was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 11th round (324th overall).
C John Cristino
Cristino has also been raking this season, hitting to a .343/.430/.537 slash line. This builds on what was a solid season in junior college, where Cristino hit to a .912 OPS for Rowan College of South Jersey. As with Cossetti, Cristino’s ability to play catcher and hit at a high level should help his stock, especially in a league where catchers who hit are increasingly hard to come by and robot umpires possibly coming soon. All in all, Cristino is a prospect who someone may take a chance on because of his ability to get on base at a high level and play catcher.
RHP Joe Joe Rodriguez
Rodriguez may be the player who has boosted his stock the most by playing for the Thunder. After struggling to a 5.94 ERA last season with St. John’s, Rodriguez did not come into the draft league with many eyes on him as a potential prospect. However, Rodriguez dominated Draft League hitters, pitching to a sparkling 1.57 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched, striking out 25 batters and walking 10.
Rodriguez possesses a 92-94 mile per hour fastball and pairs it with a wipeout slider to put away hitters. He was drafted once in the 20th round of the 2019 draft by the Reds, but with his elite Draft League performance, Rodriguez may have played himself into a higher selection this year.
C Gus Sosa
Sosa is another member of the Thunder’s elite catching group and has been one of the Thunder’s most consistently great hitters through the first half of the season. He had a .339 average, .356 on base percentage, and a .589 slugging percentage while being tied for the team lead in home runs with three. This builds on what was an excellent season in junior college this past year, where he had a .976 OPS and nine home runs in 54 games for South Mountain Community College. This all should probably lead to Sosa getting a chance in an MLB organization over the next few days.
Update: Sosa was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 10th round (302nd overall).
INF Nate Ochoa
Ochoa was one of the more exciting prospects entering the Draft League, as he committed to play at Alabama in the fall and had an impressive high school career. However, Ochoa struggled a bit in Draft League play, managing only a .623 OPS in 31 games played.
This may not deter some teams from taking a chance on him, however, as the prestige of going to a school like Alabama, his great defense at shortstop, and his projectable six-foot four frame make him someone who is likely to improve greatly over the next few years. A team may take a chance on him as a high upside player who could outperform where he is selected in the draft.
Update: Ochoa was selected by the Washington Nationals in the sixth round (171st overall).