Just like all other players on the field, a catcher is required to wear a glove.
However, instead of calling it a glove, the catcher calls it a mitt instead. So what is the difference between the two?
The catcher’s glove is called a mitt as it does not contain individual finger components that you find in regular baseball gloves. In addition, the mitt is specially designed with a unique larger sized pocket to help trap the ball and meet the demands of the numerous times a catcher will have to catch the ball during a game. It also includes extra protection and a unique shape that helps a pitcher see an bigger and easier target to throw the ball.
Interested in finding the best catchers mitts for 2018? Our current top choices include:
In my opinion the catchers mitt is one of the hardest things to find as there are many things to consider including sizing, pocket type, and much more. So finding the best model is quite subjective. However, I feel that the 5 on this page would be a great start for any catcher. We begin this guide by providing a comparison of these different models side by side and follow that with reviews of each. We then provide some additional tips that you should consider when looking for a mitt.
Comparing the top mitts
We often get asked what the top catchers mitts are right now. For the year 2018, there are 5 main models that stand out the most including the Mizuno Prospect series (youth), the Mizuno World Win GXC75 (Adult), the Wilson A2000 (Adult), and the All Star Pro (adult) series.
The Prospect series itself is the most sold so far as it is one of the least expensive mitts around and offers youth players quite a bit of extra features. The Gold Glove Gamer and the A2403 (coming from the A2000) family have been staples in the industry for years and years. The Wilson A2000 catchers mitt is ideal for competitive catchers as it features MLB’s most popular catchers mitt pattern. That being said, it is expensive and as mentioned earlier should normally only be needed by competitive catchers.
Our next section is devoted to reviews of the top catchers mitts. Sometimes a comparison table does not expand enough on the main features so we felt it might help more to provide a larger overview.
1- Wilson A2000
If you are looking for a high-end, long lasting glove, you really can’t go wrong with a trusted name like Wilson. Wilson has spent hours upon hours with professional players, working to improve their already time-tested, player-approved glove, and the final, ever-refining product line is the SuperSkin series.
A few things, besides the high-end price-tag, set this model apart from the herd. The first is the world-famous Pro Stock Leather from which the mitt is made. Wilson’s Pro Stock Leather is prized by professional ballplayers the world over for its durability. It’s true that that durability comes at a hefty price, monetarily, but it also comes at a much smaller price, convenience-wise. These mitts are very stiff at first, making break-in time a drag, but they will last for season after season. The same factors that make these so hard to break in are what ensure you get the most use of your glove in the end, and that’s a pretty fair trade.
Another part of the painstaking, ever-evolving design that went into this mitt is the dual welting along the finger backs. This small, easily overlooked detail is what keeps Wilson’s pockets so durable and your hard-won break in effective.
But Wilson is concerned with more than just functionality and reliability from their products. They also want them to be comfortable for your whole game, and your whole season. The heavy, enclosed leather of a catcher’s mitt will make your hand sweaty and hot. The Dri-Lex lining keeps you from dropping the ball by wicking away that moisture, keeping your hand cool, dry, and as quick as ever.
This is a serious choice for serious players, and is well worth the expense and the extra break-in time. Treat it well and don’t take any shortcuts, and it will last you seasons upon seasons.
2- All Star Pro
It’s difficult, and often quite expensive, to put a price on perfection. That’s exactly the case with the All Star Pro Elite series. This mitt is extremely popular in the world of professional baseball, and for many good reasons. It is a superior choice for serious players, and it has the price-tag to prove it and the praise and loyalty to match, some even calling it the best mitt on the market today. You will be able to tell the difference that the finest materials and hand-craftsmanship make as soon as you put it on.
Good leather is what makes or breaks (sometimes literally) a mitt. The leather used for the Elite series is used only on All-Star models and is part of what makes their design so appealing. The Japanese-tanned, U.S. Steerhide simultaneously speeds up the break in while extending it’s life. You’ll be able to catch with it sooner and it will last you for season after season.
But the real achievement of the Elite line is its exceptional design. The pocket is extended and features a profiled toe, excellent for scooping up the ball as well as added control and strength. Beyond that, the black and tan leather combinations make their own separate contributions to the quality of the glove. The soft, tan palm leather makes an amazing pocket with a good, loud “pop” while the sturdy black leather back gives you all the support you need to control the ball. This mitt may come at a high price, but it is well worth it in benefits. It’s easier to be the best when you play with the best, and that means paying for the best as well.
3- Mizuno Prospect
Finding a great, high-quality mitt can be a challenge, even for adult players, but younger players face an additional hurdle. Because their hands are still growing, it can be difficult to find a good mitt for a good price, which is important since it will need to be replaced more frequently, not due to wear, but due to larger hand size. Mizuno has made it a priority to make this search for the perfect youth glove an easy one. Their Prospect series is made for comfort, quality, and ease of use, but first and foremost, it’s affordable.
Form and functionality are just as important as price when searching for the perfect option for a budding baseball star, and this is one of the best options available. It is tailored to smaller hands, from the openings to the finger stalls, without compromising is ability to get the job done. The closed back and hook and loop strap help to ensure the glove stays on tight and in place, no matter the pitch. But the most striking feature of the design is the patented PowerClose technology. It, along with the V-Flex notch, make it easier for younger players to learn to catch with the pocket of the mitt and to squeeze the ball.
The butter soft palm lining and ParaShock palm pad make catching more comfortable for younger players. Parashock technology in the palm pad reduces sting from catching fast pitches by absorbing more of the force from the impact of the ball and distributing it for less rebound and less shock. The glove is game-ready on arrival, so you can oil it up and play ball!
4- Mizuno World Win
Mizuno has earned their reputation as one of the best mitt manufacturers in the market today, and their World Win series is no exception. It is lightweight, durable, and nearly game-ready out of the box. But, one of the most attractive features of this mitt is its competitive price. If you are looking for a good looking, good playing glove that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (you need those to play, after all), the World Win series might be exactly what you’re searching for. For high school players this may represent a great option due to its quality and affordability.
The Retro leather of this series serves more than one purpose. The soft, supple feel makes for a very comfortable glove, but it also allow for immediate, and much shorter, break in than others without sacrificing durability. It will last you season after season if you condition it the right way, and you still won’t have to spend hours and hours breaking it in before it’s game-ready.
Comfort is a recurring theme in the design of this glove, as well. The Moisture Management technology in the fabric lining, the ParaFit systems of finger channels for custom fit and shock absorption, and the ParaShock technology for force and impact dispersal all work together to keep your hand cool, dry, safe, and comfortable while you play the game. Hard, fast throws are absorbed by the padding and ParaFit/ParaShock technologies, dispersing the force of the impact evenly and reducing sting, while the Moisture Management fabric wicks away sweat to eliminate slippage.
This is one instance where price does not reflect quality. Though far more affordable, this glove is easily on par with the rest of the best on the market. Not only is it mostly broken in already, but it won’t break your fingers or the bank.
5- Rawlings Renegade
If your budding baseball legend dreams of the big leagues, why not help them look the part with this Pro-style mitt from the Rawlings Renegade series? Just because a mitt is made for smaller hands doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the look and feel of the Majors, and Rawlings has proven it with a comfortable, game-ready model tailored for younger players.
The tanned, full-grain leather makes it one of the most comfortable, and best-looking, choices available for young players today, but the comfort isn’t only hide-deep. A cushioned palm pad eliminates the sting from a fast, hard throw, making the game more enjoyable without the worry of battered, bruised hands. Even the finger stalls have undergone a comfort-oriented upgrade with foam finger lining and brushed nylon stalls for a soft and secure fit on par with adult models.
The comfort is only surpassed by the functionality. With the fastback model, players get the added control of an index finger-hole and a securing hood, all the better for those learning to hone their skills. The speed trap technology, along with the game-ready feel of the glove, make catching a breeze by easing the close for any young player, allowing them to learn the proper techniques for catching. This excellent feature is complemented by a closed web that gives even further control to the player. No matter where that pitch is headed, they’ll be sure they can catch it with this glove.
The best equipment helps the best players become even better, and we all want the best for our kids. When it comes to mitts for younger players, you can’t go wrong with Rawlings.
Tips for Purchasing a Catchers mitt
There are several items you should consider when looking for a brand new mitt including:
- Budget – Like most other equipment, the price range varies tremendously. They can be had for as low as $30 and can go up to $300 for the really specialized gloves.
- Single vs Dual hinge – many players prefer a dual hinge as the mitt feels much closer to mimicking the actual hand
- Size – Youth models typically are sized around 32 inches which is a perfect size for ages 10, 11 or 12. Sizes then go up to the more common 32.5, 33, and 33.5 inches that are used for catchers aged approximately 13 or older. Sizes of mitts can go all the way to 34.5″ for larger hands. Please see how to size information below.
- Brand – some brands are much better than others. We provide our favorite choices above
- Baseball or softball – specific exist to make female players feel much more comfortable. Narrower finger stalls and openings allow for female players to have just as much success.
As opposed to regular baseball gloves, catchers mitts are sized by the circumference length and not the length of the hand. If you already know your glove size, calculating the circumference you need is very easy. First, subtract the length of a regular sized glove that you’d wear from 12.5 (the largest size). Next take this number and subtract it from the largest catchers mitt size of 34.5. This resulting number is the proper size for you. Typically a younger catcher will need a size of 31 to 32 inches, where an adult level catcher will range from 33 to 34 inches.