Angels Fifth-Round Pick, Sonny Dichiara Has Always Wanted More Than Stats
NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Auburn vs Stanford
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The Los Angeles Angels’ 2022 draft class displayed a lot of promise, but their fifth-round selection, Sonny DiChiara, wants more than to be remembered than just his statistics.

DiChiara was the 148th selection in the draft and signed for under-slot value at $172,500, and was assigned to the Angels’ Double-A affiliate, Rocket City Trash Pandas. After enjoying a stellar career at Auburn University, he capped off his senior year compiling an on-base plus slugging of 1.326, including 22 home runs and 59 RBI.

The Trash Pandas’ home stadium is in Madison, Alabama, not far from DiChiara’s family, which made him all the more ecstatic that the Angels picked him, via Sam Blum of the Athletic:

“When I found out the Angels drafted me, I knew that they had the Double-A affiliate in Huntsville because we actually played there earlier this year with Auburn. We played Tennessee Tech. And that’s when I found out that the Angels’ affiliate was there. Given the situation that I was presented, it was definitely a really surreal moment.”

DiChiara has dealt with his own adversity during his path to minor league baseball, and the 23-year-old wants to be more than just a ball player.

“I’ve always just wanted to be the guy that people can look at and be like: “Man, he has fun. I want my kid to be like him. I want to be like him.” I always want to set that example for someone. I never praise myself or say, “Man, I’m popular.” But I just want people to look at me and be like, “Man, I love that guy. I want to be like that guy.”

In his first 16 games with the Trash Pandas, DiChiara has an on-base percentage of .464, but with a .229 batting average, he’s still waiting for that end to catch up with the rest of his game.

Angels promote first-round pick Zach Neto to Double-A

The Angels selected Zach Neto in the first round out of Campbell University, and the 21-year-old already made a strong enough impression to earn a hasty promotion.

In his final pre-draft college season, Neto slashed .407/.514/.769 which garnered him enough praise to be worthy of a top selection. With shortstop being his primary position, Neto’s strong suit is his defensive ability and strong arm which allowed him to log time as a reliever.

Neto was assigned to High-A Tri-City Dust Devils after signing his rookie deal in July and showed enough in his seven games there and posting a .755 on-base plus slugging.

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