Welcome to OutAtHomePlate.com, your new home for all things related to the best position in all of sports: the catcher! Our site has a few goals in mind:
- Look at and provide overviews of the best choices when it comes to gear. This includes equipment from top brands like All-Star, Easton, Under Armour, Wilson and many more.
- Provide you with helpful articles on aspects related to the catcher position. This may include drills, skill sets you need, general how-to articles and much more
The catcher is one of the most important positions in all of sports. Although not as apparent when watching games, being a catchers involves many traits including leadership, acting as a second manager, controlling play positions on the field, and helping the pitcher be as successful as possible.
|Image||Catchers Gear||Rating (/5)||Price||Level||Latest Offer|
|Under Armour Victory||5.0||$$||Mid-level|
|Easton M10||4.7||$$||Mid-level to Competitive|
|All Star Pro||4.6||$$$||Competitive|
|All Star System Seven||4.5||$$$||Mid-level to Competitive|
|Louisville Series 5||4.3||$$||Beginner to Mid-level|
All of this and we haven’t even talked about the main responsibilities of catching the ball, and trying to catch runners stealing bases. It certainly is a very difficult position to master but also one of the more rewarding. It’s not a surprise that many former catchers become managers for professional teams when their playing days are over.
Arguably one of the most important decision a catcher needs to make is the type of equipment to use. Although maybe not as extreme, I would venture to say the decision is almost the same as buyer a car. Remember this is the gear that you are committed to wearing for a very long time and through some hot summer days. Because this can be such a difficult process, we thought it would be a helpful idea to provide a page dedicated to what we believe is the best catchers gear available for the 2016 season.
What to look for
When searching for the best catchers gear one of the best things to do is figure out your needs. Are you a competitive catcher and need all the bells and whistles, or are you a catcher for your local house team that just needs a set to get by for the year. The reviews and overviews on our site focus on these major aspects of catcher’s equipment:
- Protection – It goes without saying that the most important feature of any equipment is how well it protects you.
- Durability – This equipment is unfortunately not cheap. Therefore a catcher needs equipment that will get them through more than a season.
- Comfort – Sitting in the crouch position for a full game isn’t very comfortable. We look at any additional features added to provide more comfort to the catcher.
- Price – As mentioned earlier if you are a catcher that just needs something to get by or don’t know if you will play catcher very long then price becomes a huge point to consider.
- Brand – Although most brands we feature on this site are aged brands you may prefer one over the other. For instance, you might heavily favor Easton or Mizuno gear.
- Sizing – Obviously youth sized equipment isn’t going to do much good for an adult player. Be sure to take measurements to find the right sized gear for your body.
Best Choices for Catchers gear
The first section of our website looks at what we feel are the best overall choices for catchers looking for new gear. If you’ve ever shopped for anything, you are probably well aware that there are many choices out there. Baseball in particular sees a lot of turnover year after year. In addition no two catchers are exactly alike and therefore not all equipment works for every player. For instance, a competitive college player has much different needs than a catcher playing in his/her first season. To help you find the best catchers gear possible we have looked into all of the top brands and looked at their various models. We’ve looked at all of the specs for the various models available in the 2016 and reviews from people who have used the gear. We then compile this information into what we believe are your best bets. After all if you want to be at the top of your game, there is nothing better than a great fitting, comfortable, and high performing set of equipment. Without further ado, here are what we think are the best choices right now:
The Easton M10 series is one of our top picks for the 2016 season. This series is an upgraded version of the Easton Force or Easton Stealth series seen in previous years. We believe this set is perfect for competitive level catchers as it has many advanced level features to set it apart from the rest. This gear is made by one of the best brands when it comes to baseball equipment and is promised to be the best series they have ever produced. As the position of catcher requires a large amount of athleticism, the M10 series has been designed to be more lightweight and higher performing than its predecessors. This allows you to move around easier, catch foul balls, and hopefully pop up easier to throw out any base stealers.
- 26 different colors!
- Better balance
Some of the quick features included in the set are:
- The M10 helmet is quite neat as its helmet has a rear cap that is designed for high speed removal. Fully approved by NOCSAE, it features 18 vents to keep you cool all game long. IF you’ve ever been in August heat behind the plate, you’ll know how important this feature is!
- With a nice snug feeling, the Easton M10 leg guards will make you forget that you are even wearing them! With a new knee cap that covers your entire leg in all different motions, you’ll be fully protected at all times
- The M10 chest protector provides an incredible amount of mobility with its form fitting design. No longer will you ever have to worry about the chest protector getting in the way of your throws
For competitive adult level catchers, the new All Star Pro Custom series offers everything you will ever need. Despite being one of the lightest sets around, it still offers the most advanced protection and custom size systems around. The ability to custom fit your gear is huge as it is quite hard to find two body types that are the exact same. One catcher may prefer a snugger fit around the shoulders while the other prefers more loose fitting gear.
- Advanced set perfect for competitive players
- Lightest chest protector made by All Star
With advanced features like wraparound sides in the chest protector and perfectly shaped leg guards, you will quickly take your game to the next level in no time at all. This sets includes the following equipment:
- CP30PRO Chest – The lightest of its kind ever offered by All Star at 22.4 oz. One of the neater features of the CP30PRO is the wedged shape in the front that deadens balls upon impact. If you have difficulties controlling rebounds on bad pitches then you may want to give this chest protector a try and see how well it can knock the ball straight down.
- LG30WPRO Legs – Increased shin protection and better ventilation are two of the “better” features that you will notice in these leg guards. Some leg guards leave catchers somewhat exposed in the crouch position. These have been designed to ensure that you are always fully protected.
- MVP2500 Helmet – For catchers looking to combine protection & comfort, there may be no better helmet than the MVP2500. With one of the sturdiest shells in the business, you will never have to worry about damage to your head area. This helmet also offers a great field vision so that you as the catcher can always be fully aware of your surroundings.
The Louisville Slugger Series 5 (for youth and intermediate sizes), and Series 7 (for adults) packs a lot of bang for your buck. A well rounded set of gear – it can be used by all levels from beginner to advanced with the same expectations of longevity, toughness, and mobility. Unlike some of the other models we’ve looked at so far this set can be purchased for a much better price making it perfect for all levels of play. If you aren’t a competitive player but still want a nice set from a trusted brand name then this would probably make a great choice.
- Top of the line intermediate set
- Lightweight and tough
Although these sets have a lower price tag than the average set you don’t have to worry about any sacrifices made to the quality of the product. Louisville (and especially the Slugger brand) has been around for years and is always evolving. This latest line is known for a great combination of all the things catcher’s gear needs. For more details on each individual piece:
- Series 5/7 Chest: The chest protector in this set is built with high density foam for increased protection. It uses a precision pad design for a great fit to surround your full chest and body.
- Leg Guards: Includes a double knee design to allow you to move around easier but keep you fully protected around the ever important knee and shin areas. Some of the more advanced catchers sets (like some of the ones reviewed earlier) include a triple knee design for more mobility. Most catchers will be fine with a double knee design like those offered by the Series 5 and Series 7.
- Helmet: Fully NOCSAE approved, this helmet has a nice smooth glossy finish on the exterior to make you look incredibly sharp behind the plate. But as you know looks aren’t everything. This helmet also includes a moisture controlling chin pad so that sweat during the game does not get noticed.
Better known as the “protect this house” series, the Under Armour Victory series is perfect for those catchers beginning to develop their skill set. Under Armour is an incredibly popular company that has been known to create some of the most innovative and high quality products spanning numerous sports. This company it often one of the front runners when it comes to finding the newest and best things to make athletes better at their particular sport. This line of catcher’s gear in particular is perfect as you receive the great backing from a strong company without breaking the bank on some of the more expensive sets that are out there.
- Perfect for beginner to intermediate
- Lightweight helmet
Using advanced protection in the chest, leg, and helmet areas, the Under Armour Victory Series often ranks as one of the top sets year in and year out. Some quick features:
- Lightweight chest protector that keeps you cool during the game. Comes with a full over the shoulder harness and a Velcro shoulder cap for a more customized fit
- Leg guards made with impact resistant ABS plastic, and a double knee design for more efficient mobility and protection
- Hockey style helmet that is highly adjustable to ensure a great fit around your head. This helmet also uses an I-Bar mask for increased field vision
If you are looking to stretch your hard earned money but don’t want to sacrifice quality then the Easton M7 series might be exactly what you need. Most sets of gear (especially those from the top brands) will be at least $200, but the M7 has a very comfortable price range of $130 to $150 depending on size (i.e. youth to adult). Based on the highly sought after Easton brand, the high quality material used to make the equipment, and the price point, we feel that the M7 series would be perfect for any non-competitive level catcher.
- Great brand name
The following list describes some of the main feature for each piece of the set:
- Chest Protector: The M7 chest protector features numerous layers of highly protective, comfortable foam with specific ventilation holes to keep you cool throughout the entire game. The primary benefit of this chest protector is its ability to control rebounds.
- Leg Guards: One of the more useful features within the leg guards found in the M7 series are the memory foam inserts inside the knee. Not only does this memory foam help to protect the catcher even more, but it provides a more custom fit tailored to the knee shape of the individual player.
- Helmet: The last piece of the M7 series is the NOCSAE approved helmet. Where we feel this helmet is better than some of the others is in the snug fit it provides. The main goal of the helmet is to stay close to you and move with your head. If you’ve ever worn a “loose” fitting helmet, you’ll know what a great feature this is.
What does a catcher need?
So what equipment does a catcher need? There are several mandatory pieces and then a few optional pieces that you’ll need behind the plate. This includes:
One thing to note is that in most cases you won’t need to purchase each individual piece described above. Most companies offer full catchers gear sets that include everything. They even provide a discount in most cases. After all if you need all of this equipment you should save as much money as possible.
What do the pro’s wear?
Another common question that is asked is what gear do the pro’s wear? Here are some of the top catchers that are currently playing in the big leagues and what they wear:
- All Star – Russell Martin, Salvador Perez
- Louisville – Carlos Gomez
- Mizuno – Yan Gomes, Victor Martinez, Devin Mesoraco
- Nike – AJ Pierzynski, Carlos Ruiz, Miguel Montero
- Rawlings – Yadier Molina
- Under Armour – Matt Wieters, Brian McCann, Stephen Vogt, Travis D’Arnaud, Yasmani Grandal, Derek Norris, Buster Posey
- Wilson – Ivan Rodriguez
You may be wondering why we have chosen two models of Easton gear but no professional players use it. One of the main reasons for this is because Easton does not actively provide endorsements for pro’s to wear their equipment. So although you may not seen it worn heavily by big leaguers, you will certainly see it at events like the Little League World Series, and many other leagues around the country. For every day players, the brand is still heavily recommended. Another interesting aspect is the overwhelming amount of players that use Under Armour. This doesn’t surprise me too much as Under Armour is quickly becoming a game changer for many sports as they tend to listen to the athletes and create newly innovative gear all of the time. For those that care, it also has a bit of a “cool” factor!
We hope you find exactly what you are looking for on our website dedicated specifically to catchers. We hope that our equipment reviews and our articles section are exactly what you are looking for. Should you need any additional information of are looking for a specific piece of catchers gear, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.