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Sonny DiChiara | Photo via Auburn Athletics

Auburn alum Sonny DiChiara joins Trash Pandas

Angels fifth-round pick out of Auburn to make pro debut with Rocket City Trash Pandas

By Aaron Cheris

MADISON – The Rocket City Trash Pandas, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Angels, today announced that infielder Sonny DiChiara, the Angels’ fifth round selection in the 2022 MLB draft, has been assigned to Double-A Rocket City to begin his professional career.

Celebrating his 23rd birthday today, DiChiara joined the Trash Pandas in Chattanooga and is expected to make his professional debut in the coming days.

The first baseman is coming off a historic 2022 season for Auburn, hitting .384 with 22 home runs, 59 RBI, 68 walks, 15 doubles, and 49 runs scored in 61 games to carry the Tigers to the College World Series in Omaha. He led the SEC in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and his 61 walks were second in the country.

Over his 61 games this season, DiChiara reached base in all but two of them. He began the season with a 46-game on-base streak. He was named a First-Team All-American by ABCA, Baseball America, D1 Baseball, and Perfect Game. The third SEC Player of the Year in Auburn history, DiChiara joins an elite group comprised of former Huntsville Stars Tim Hudson and Hunter Morris.

His 2022 season ranked among the best in Auburn history, as his OBP was second in program history behind Hall of Famer Frank Thomas and was 42 points higher than any other SEC player in the last 10 seasons. His 22 home runs also tied for the second most in program history, one behind the record. Defensively at first base, he turned in a .991 fielding percentage over 453 chances.

Born in Homewood, Alabama, DiChiara transferred to Auburn in 2022 after playing three seasons at Samford University in Birmingham from 2019-21.

The Trash Pandas continue their series against the Chattanooga Lookouts at AT&T Field on Friday night with a 6:15 p.m. matchup. Josh Caray will be on the call for 103.9 FM THE UMP and 730 AM SportsRadio. The game will also be televised locally on WAAY 31.6, This TV.

DiChiara will return home to Alabama next week as the Trash Pandas battle the Tennessee Smokies in a six-game series beginning on Tuesday, August 2.


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