Best Baseball Gloves: A Guide of What Models the Top Pros Use

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2018

Best Baseball Gloves: A Guide of What Models the Top Pros Use

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Highlight-reel plays happen all over the diamond. Shortstops track down grounders in the hole, outfielders make diving catches and corner infielders snag hard-hit balls down the line.

    While the defensive gems are applauded and replayed, the gloves themselves rarely get attention. Well, why would they? Gloves are inanimate objects controlled by players, after all.

    But have you ever thought about the brand of baseball leather responsible for the defensive masterpieces?

    Wonder no more. Between information on What Pros Wear, social media and photo database searches, we've tracked down some of the most popular gloves worn by top players in Major League Baseball.

All-Star

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    While not limited to mitts, All-Star is a popular choice for catchers. The brand's chest protectors and leg guards are also regularly used.

    Martin Maldonado won a Gold Glove in 2017 with the All-Star CM3000 on his left hand. He posted a .998 fielding percentage while throwing out 38.7 percent of would-be base stealers. All-Star advertises the CM3000 as exclusively using Japanese tanned steer hide.

    Two-time All-Star Jonathan Lucroy has a similar mitt, and Gary Sanchez, Salvador Perez and Russell Martin have all previously used the brand.

Nike

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Nike puts an emphasis on catcher's gear, likely because the players at the position spend the most time on camera during a game. Beyond shrewd marketing, though, Nike also has a handful of top players wearing gloves.

    Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard and San Francisco Giants starter Johnny Cueto all wear leather from the Sha/Do series. Los Angeles Angels second baseman Ian Kinsler has a similar glove.

    Washington Nationals standout Stephen Strasburg and Yankees veteran CC Sabathia also rock Nike mitts. George Springer of the Houston Astros counts on the Vapor series to squeeze fly balls.

    Prior to the 2018 season, Marcus Stroman rocked a can't-miss Blue Jays-colored glove by the brand.

Mizuno

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    Chris Sale
    Chris SaleAssociated Press

    Chris Sale has relied on Mizuno throughout his career, and the Boston Red Sox star has celebrated six All-Star appearances.

    The most popular line is the Pro series, and Corey Kluber, Didi Gregorius, Andrelton Simmons and Tucker Barnhart all sport one. That's quite an impressive list.

    Kluber has earned a pair of Cy Young Awards in his career, and Gregorius is a highly valued shortstop with the Yankees. Simmons is a three-time Gold Glover, and Barnhart earned his first such award during the 2017 season.

    According to What Pros Wear, Ian Desmonda versatile piece for the Colorado Rockiesrelies on several Mizuno gloves, depending on the position he's asked to play.

Wilson

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    Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    Wilson has a pair of popular lines in the A2000 and A2K. While there is a difference, several players have used both.

    Clayton Kershaw, MLB's best pitcher, headlines an impressive group of Wilson-wearers. That includes All-Stars Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Mookie Betts and Ender Inciarte. Altuve and Inciarte both have a Gold Glove to their name.

    Truly, the list is huge. Add Jon Lester, Jose Abreu, Evan Longoria, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Turner and Dansby Swanson, to name a few.

    Wilson touts the A2K series as using the highest quality leather, whereas the A2000 is composed of what doesn't make that cut.

Rawlings

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    Anthony Rizzo's glove
    Anthony Rizzo's gloveLisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Rawlings also has widespread usage in Major League Baseball and a pair of featured glove series.

    First up is Pro Preferred, which has supporters in Chicago Cubs teammates Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. Young superstars Mike Trout, Aaron Judge and Francisco Lindor and veterans Joey Votto and Dallas Keuchel are just a sampling of the group wearing this line.

    What Pros Wear cited several players saying the Pro Preferred series takes longer to break in but is more durable than its top Rawlings competition: Heart of the Hide.

    Many of the game's top catchers—including Sanchez, Yadier Molina and Buster Posey—all use HOH. So do superstar Bryce Harper and Gold Glove winners Manny Machado, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado.

    Among many others, Cody Bellinger, Eric Hosmer, Corey Seager and Christian Yelich also wear Rawlings gloves.