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Wily Mo Pena Continues To Prove Value To Diamondbacks

A few weeks ago, all eyes were on the Arizona Diamondbacks' schedule, which featured nine road games in American League parks to help wrap up the first half of the regular season.

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With trips to Kansas City, Detroit and Oakland all in the near future, the D-backs brass had to make an important decision -- would Xavier Nady and Juan Miranda be able to handle the 1B/DH duties, or should they promote a big bat from AAA?

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A lot of people, including myself, thought this was a good time to call up Paul Goldschmidt, one of the organization's top prospects in AA. Others noted the emergence of Collin Cowgill in AAA, while even more mentioned the possibility of seeing Brandon Allen once again playing for the big league club.

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None of those options were chosen, and the reason has been very clear: Wily Mo Pena can hit the cover off the baseball.

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In 63 games in AAA Reno, Pena hit 21 home runs and had an incredible .363 batting average. Instead of promoting a youngster who might not be quite ready for the bright lights, Kevin Towers selected Pena, who is well respected for his power.

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In 30 at bats for the Diamondbacks since his call-up, he has hit 4 home runs and driven in 6 RBI, including a game-winning two run home run against the Indians in the bottom of the ninth this past Tuesday.

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In 2011, he has averaged a home run every 13.3 at bats.

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While his average may never reach .300 in the major leagues, his power provides the Diamondbacks with a threat off the bench, which is a huge benefit for any team, regardless of whether or not a Designated Hitter position is in use that night.

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After struggling through the first few months of the season without a spark plug on the bench, Arizona appears well-equipped moving forward with Wily Mo Pena.