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Besides being a hard throwing pitcher, Penny developed into a good hitting pitcher since being traded to the Dodgers.
With the South Bend Silver Hawks in 1997, he was 10–5 with an ERA of 2.73 in 25 starts.On September 23, 2006, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Penny joined the small club of pitchers who have struck out four batters in one inning.Due to the uncaught third strike rule, Penny was credited with striking out Chad Tracy, but because catcher Russell Martin failed to catch the ball cleanly, Tracy was allowed to attempt to run to first base, and made it there before he could be thrown out.The Marlins assigned him to their Double-A team in Portland.
Penny combined with Luis Arroyo for the first no-hitter in Portland history in his first game in the Marlins' organization on August 8.
In 1998, with the High Desert Mavericks, he went 14–5 with a 2.96 ERA in 28 starts and was named to Baseball America's first team Minor League All-Stars, the California League Pitcher of the Year, California League Most Valuable Player, Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League Player of the Year and "A" Level Player of the Year.