MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — Former Auburn star Sonny DiChiara is officially beginning his pro career in his home state of Alabama. The Rocket City Trash Pandas announced Friday that the infielder has been assigned to the Trash Pandas and will join the team in Chattanooga on Friday.

Last week, DiChiara signed his rookie contract with the Los Angeles Angels, who selected him in the fifth round at 148 overall. It was reported that he would go directly to Double-A, and that news was made official on Friday.

In his one season at Auburn, DiChiara averaged .384 with 22 home runs, 59 RBI, and 49 runs scored in 61 games to help the Tigers reach the College World Series. He led the SEC in batting, slugging, and on-base percentage, and his 61 walks ranked second in the country.

DiChiara was named SEC Player of the Year and earned First-Team All-American honors by ABCA, Baseball America, DI Baseball, and Perfect Game.

DiChiara is not in Friday’s starting lineup but is available off the bench. After the team completes their series in Chattanooga on Sunday, they will return to Toyota Field for a six-game series against Tennessee beginning on Tuesday.