HUNTSVILLE, Ala — Former Auburn baseball standout Sonny DiChiara will start his professional baseball career with the Rocket City Trash Pandas. DiChiara was the Angels’ fifth round selection in the 2022 MLB draft
The announcement came on DiChiara's 23rd birthday. He joined the Trash Pandas in Chattanooga and should make his professional debut soon.
The team says that 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.
He began the season with a 46-game on-base streak and over his 61 games this season, reached base in all but two of them. DiChiara was named a First-Team All-American by ABCA, Baseball America, D1 Baseball, and Perfect Game. He is only the third SEC Player of the Year in Auburn history.
DiChiara should be a big asset to the team. According to a spokesperson for the Trash Pandas, "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."
DiChiara transferred to Auburn in 2022 after playing three seasons at Samford University in Birmingham from 2019-21.