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
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 — 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