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Former Kansas City Royals draft pick Robert Penny signed with the Boomers on February 10, 2012.
Penny, 23, spent two seasons in the Royals system after being drafted in the 37th round of the 2010 June Free Agent Draft and got off to a very hot start in his professional career. In 46.1 innings with the Burlington Royals in the Appalachian League in 2010, the 6’3” right-hander posted a sparkling 1.75 ERA with five saves in addition to collecting 36 strikeouts and just 12 walks.
After the Royals were eliminated from playoff contention, Penny finished the 2010 season with the Idaho Falls Chukars allowing two runs in six innings good for a 3.00 ERA. As good as he was in 2010 was as much as Penny struggled in 2011. Over the course of 61.0 innings split between the Kane County Cougars, and the Chukars, Penny allowed 72 hits and 59 earned runs, however, despite his struggles, Penny remained strong in the missing bats department as he fanned 58 and issued 27 free passes, which gives good indication that a bounce back season is more than possible with the Boomers in 2012.
Penny earned all-state honors as a senior at Whiteville High School in 2007 after leading the state of North Carolina with 168 strikeouts. Penny redshirted at the University of North Carolina before transferring to Pitt Community College in Winterville, N.C. Penny had an outstanding final collegiate season going 10-1 with a 3.12 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 66.1 innings of work and helped lead PCC to its first ever birth in the Junior College World Series. Penny signed with the Royals after his second season at PCC.