Butch Thompson knows a big-time power hitter when he sees one, and Sonny DiChiara fills that role at Auburn.

DiChiara has hit 22 home runs this season to lead Auburn, along with a .392 batting average, 15 doubles and 59 RBIs.

In Omaha ahead of the College World Series, Thompson, the Auburn coach, described DiChiara’s impact with the Tigers.

It didn’t take DiChiara long at all to blend in.

“When you meet him initially. I think if we get to hang around, if we play good enough baseball, however many they put out here is going to love him and respect him,” Thompson said. “I thought it was instant with our people. It was instant with our clubhouse, as you can hear these people talk about. He’ll do the same thing. It’s genuine, it’s not manufactured. It’s real and he’s good.”

But his personality and character goes beyond the box score.

“If you look at it from analytical metric standpoint he may have more impact on any team than any other player in college baseball if you look at the numbers,” Thompson said. “But him rivaling that as person and the genuineness of it. You’ll see it. He’s had us from hello. And I’m so thankful that a player like him, with that much charisma and that much game, gets an opportunity to play in a setting like this.”