Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an international amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in November of 2015, right-handed pitching prospect Luis Pasen just wrapped his second professional season in 2017 split between two rookie leagues: the DSL Dodgers of the Dominican Summer League, and the AZL Dodgers of the Arizona League. In 23 total relief appearances split between the two clubs, Pasen finished 0-0 with seven saves and a 1.65 ERA; across 32.2 innings, he allowed 19 hits and 15 walks while striking out 46 batters and holding opponents to a .161 batting average.

Relatively old for the level and his experience compared to most Latin American signings, the 22-year-old Luis Pasen (DOB: January 14, 1995) has above-average raw stuff with encouraging arm strength despite his lean frame and mechanical inconsistencies leading to modest command issues. He’ll have to move relatively quickly into full-season ball and the upper minors, but the Dominican righty has an outside shot at a high-leverage set-up role on account of his wipeout stuff and arm strength. Below, you’ll find our full Luis Pasen scouting report, including game video, velocity notes, tool grades, and projection analysis for the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching prospect.




Luis Pasen, Los Angeles Dodgers — 2017 Scouting Report

Dates observed in 2017: August 9; August 14

TOOL (FV)
NOTES & COMMENTS
Fastball (65)
Significant arm-side run; boring action with little consistent ability to rein it in right now as pitch tends to take off arm-side. Modest, inconsistent sink when he can get it down in the zone. Tons of natural life from gun-slinger low three-quarters release. Very loose arm; whip like fastball with free, easy release. Long-term potential to reach plus to double-plus fastball velocity with development; if he’s able to corral ample arm-side run, this will be a very tough pitch that comes hard in on RHH. Velocity: 90-92, T 93.

Slider (50)
Variable, inconsistent 11-to-5 and 10-to-4 break; slurve-like; needs to be thrown harder and tighter. Will hang it and leave it high without feel for full arm speed and release out front; sometimes fails to follow through fully after slowing down arm through release. Promising feel for spin and depth at times, though; has the makings of a decent breaking ball with plenty of growth necessary. Feel for glove-side at times, could work well as equal/opposite complement to arm-side heavy fastball. Tough pitch for RHH to stay on over the plate; draws weak swings away to glove side. Chance to be average or even better with significant refinement and tightening. Velocity: 77-80, T 81.

Changeup (55)
Exceptional feel for the pitch; consistent, significant tumble with some late arm-side run on occasion. Struggles to keep it down in the zone. Will slow body and arm speed down to telegraph it; sometimes loses command by dropping elbow and guiding it to the plate. When thrown hard with fastball arm action, shows good late life with acceptable speed differential. Chance to be above-average pitch with life; needs to trust it more. Can be better than just a show-me third pitch out of the bullpen if he throws it hard and lets the grip to the work; potential for a legitimate go-to off-speed look against LHH. Velocity: 80-82, T 83.

Control/Command (50/45)
Control and command both hampered now by hard-to-control fastball life; shows ability to be effectively wild within and outside the zone, though. Must learn how to get extended to glove-side consistently with fastball; enough life there to backdoor it to RHH on the outside corner/LHH on the inside corner. Late life and raw arm strength good enough to survive as effectively wild short-stint reliever. Mechanical refinements — consistent release point, no elbow drop, no telegraphing off-speed — will help command and control considerably. Likely forever a bullpen profile as abundant natural pitch life may prevent above-average command even after development.

Mechanics
Athletic, loose mechanics with whip-like arm action. Very long arms; low three-quarters release point with some gun slinger action. Moderate spine tilt with surprisingly little head movement; tracks home plate with eyes through full delivery. Relatively repeatable delivery even through moderate effort level. Well-balanced at finish, doesn’t tend to fall significantly to first base side unless timing is considerably off. Steps slightly closed to the plate with open foot strike; very long arm action in the back shows ball early to LHH; lacks deception. Can be too long on the back side with arm swing and get to release point late; leaves pitches up and arm-side when the happens. Also tends to get overly horizontal and rotational through low three-quarters release; lacks downward life on stuff when he does — pitch movement consists of hittable horizontal run or break with little depth. Must work downhill with consistency.

Intangibles
Smart pitcher; understands his mechanical issues and seems somewhat able to execute on modest changes in-game. Low heartbeat; relaxed and loose on the mound. Very thin, lean frame; considerable space to grow into body as he develops; nowhere near physical final form and may throw considerably harder in a few years with modest mechanical refinements and improved musculature, especially through lower half. Extremely, extremely loose arm — projectable for more velocity with growth. Old for the level in AZL this year; frankly, must move pretty quickly if he’s to have a significant big league impact.

Luis Pasen Scouting Report — Los Angeles Dodgers — 2017 Game Video




Luis Pasen Scouting Report — Notes & Analysis

Luis Pasen is too old to be in rookie ball, but he put up exceptional numbers in 2017 across both the DSL and the AZL, and now he has a window to prove himself in full-season ball and be taken seriously as a fringe relief prospect. He’s got the raw stuff for it; lean and under-developed, he’ll grow into his body over the next couple years and throw significantly harder while doing so, to the point where he could conceivably sit in the mid-90s with ample late arm-side life. Pasen is the opposite of many young relief prospects, too, in that he has better feel for a changeup than a breaking ball right now — a sign that he’s got some pitchability past the stereotypical one-two punch, and a sign that he could be an effective matchup arm against both right-handed hitters and lefties one day with development.

That’ll come in time, though; for now, the Los Angeles Dodgers prospect must learn how to consistently rein in his hard-running fastball, because too often his mechanics get out of whack and his fastball takes off out of control into the right-handed hitter’s box. Pasen may well wind up being a good example of how one can be effectively wild, as all of his stuff possesses ample life to give him the luxury of aiming low-middle and letting stuff cut, run, sink, break, and fade off the target. So long as he’s missing bats with it, he’s got a shot to keep moving, and the Dodgers may have themselves a future middle reliever/set-up man type of arm here if all goes well.

luis pasen scouting report los angeles dodgers baseball 2




Luis Pasen Scouting Report — Future Projection

In the short term, it’ll be interesting to see if Luis Pasen has done enough to get to Low-A Great Lakes to begin 2018. He’s 22 years old — and he’ll be 23 before the season begins — so you’d imagine there’s a sense of urgency to test him against more age-appropriate competition. That he had such an exceptional year executing in late relief this summer should help his case, and a strong spring ought to push him into the Midwest League in a few months’ time. From there, relievers can obviously move quickly depending on execution, and Pasen could conceivably jump a level at mid-season, whether in 2018 or 2019, to put him on the big league radar for the Los Angeles Dodgers as he gets to the upper minors.

In an ideal world, assuming he harnesses his ample and late-moving stuff, Luis Pasen should have a shot at a set-up role once refined. He can miss bats with multiple pitches, and even if he falls short of a high set-up projection, there’s still ample opportunity there for him to fill in as a middle reliever with feel for three pitches to perhaps work multiple innings. The biggest thing working against him right now is age, and we will soon know whether the Los Angeles Dodgers have themselves yet another fringe late-inning bullpen prospect here once Luis Pasen faces age-appropriate competition, or if he’ll be destined for organizational depth after proving he needs far more development than what appears after his successful AZL stint in 2017.

Overall Future Potential (Future Value): High-leverage (7th/8th inning) set-up man ceiling; lower leverage middle relief floor with promising rudimentary feel for three pitches (45)

MLB ETA: 2020




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