If you are in the market for a new youth baseball glove for 2017, the offseason is a great time to buy as prices may be marked down as manufacturers make room for winter inventory. Even if your child already has a glove, it is a good time to stock up on a spare or backup glove, or to make sure that he or she has something that will fit next year.It can be difficult deciding on the right glove for your youth, especially if they are still growing every year.
Thankfully, you can buy a glove that is slightly larger that your child will grow into that will still last you several seasons before needing to be replaced. This article will run through some of the very best options in youth baseball gloves for 2017.
What Are The Different Types Of Gloves I Can Choose From?
For the majority of youth ballplayers, any type of glove will suffice, especially at lower levels of youth recreational baseball. However, if you are playing at higher amateur levels you may need to get something a bit more specific to your needs.
One important consideration is what position you will be playing. If you are pitching, you will want a glove that has a closed web so that the batters cannot see your grip on the ball to identify what pitch is coming. A closed web will hide the ball from opposing players and is used by all pitchers.
If you play an infield position, you will want a smaller glove, likely anywhere between 9 to a maximum of 11 inches. This is so you can quickly get the ball out of your glove to throw to first. A large glove may cause difficulties when you are trying to grab the ball for a quick throw. This is especially true if you are playing one of the two middle infield positions (second base and shortstop), as there may be times where you will need to flip the ball (without any hands) to turn a quick double play.
If you are in the outfield, you may get a larger glove (12 or 12.5 inches) so that you can catch more balls. A larger pocket will help you hold onto balls and you have no need to make quick throws. A closed web could be helpful in the outfield to shield your eyes from the sun on pop flys.
The only two positions with specialty gloves are catcher and first base, where an oversized mitt is often used. Thankfully at lower levels, unless you are solely playing one of these two positions, you will rotate through them and your current glove will be adequate.
What Are The Things I Should Consider When Buying A Glove?
It may be difficult to buy a baseball glove for a youth, especially if their hands are still growing, but here are 5 main things you can look for in a new youth baseball glove:
- Sizing and fit: find something that fits comfortably and is not too big.
- Adjustable wrist strap: at this age it is best to buy a baseball glove with an adjustable wrist strap, usually velcro, so that players can tighten or loosen as their hand grows.
- High quality craftsmanship: I’d recommend leather if possible, but there are also some excellent synthetic options that would be fine for recreational youth players.
- Versatility: since your child is still learning the game and the different positions, try to find a glove that is suitable for multiple positions.
- Durability: although your child’s hands will grow, try to find something that will make it through some wear and tear.
Product Reviews - Which Is Right For You?
Here are 5 youth baseball gloves that we would recommend for the 2017 baseball season:
Mizuno Prospect Youth Baseball Glove GPP1150Y1
This Mizuno Prospect Youth Baseball Glove is sure to impress both you and your child. Made of supple pigskin, using this youth baseball glove is a breeze the moment you take it out of its packaging. It incorporates the latest glove technology (PowerClose and Power Lock closure) resulting in a glove that will help your child reach their potential out on the field.
- Patented PowerClose technology provides greater closing response for ease of use
- Power lock closure helps to maximize fit to increase performance
- Constructed of pigskin for added flexibility
- No break-in period
- Glove design encourages young players catch balls correctly in the pocket of the glove
Mizuno proves, once again, that they are a strong player in the baseball glove market with their Prospect Youth ball glove GPP1150Y1. We especially appreciate Mizuno’s inclusion of an “educational edge” in their design to help young players learn how to correctly catch balls using the glove pocket.
Rawlings Players Series 9-inch Youth Baseball Glove (PL90MB)
The Rawlings Players Series 9-inch Youth Baseball Glove is sure to fit the hands of your 3-5 year old child like a glove should. Made from genuine leather, this glove was made with your toddler/pre-schooler in mind. Rawlings has even taken the liberty of including a 9” soft core training ball with this youth baseball glove to ensure maximum safety for your child at the start of their baseball career.
- Made specifically for beginner players aged 3-5 years
- Conventional basket web pattern for increased flexibility
- Inclusion of 9” soft core training ball
- Constructed of leather for added durability
- Longer break-in period
- Tends to run a little small in size
If you’re looking for a quality glove specifically designed for your toddler who is just beginning their journey in the world of baseball, the Rawlings Players Series 9” Youth Baseball Glove could be the one you were waiting for. This quality-made glove is durable and will take your child from catching training balls to baseballs.
Air Tech 9-Inch (FOR LEFTIES) Youth Baseball Glove - Franklin Sports
Franklin delivers again with their Sports Air Tech for lefties youth baseball glove. Designed specifically with sports kids in mind, this glove has adjustable self-stick wrist closure and is comprised of soft airtech foam for maximum protection and comfort. Best of all, it comes in fun colour options so your little one will look great while having fun on the field!
- Adjustable self-closure wrist closure for best fit and more independence
- Made of soft airtech material for increased comfort and added protection
- Fun colour options
- Made for players aged 3-5
- Durability can be questionable
The Air Tech Franklin Sports for lefties youth baseball glove is a great option for parents looking for an excellent glove at an affordable price for their toddler. While quality may not be as great compared to more expensive youth baseball gloves, if cost is an issue this glove is one worth considering.
Wilson A200 Series 10 Inch Youth Baseball Glove
This Wilson A200 Series youth baseball glove is a pleasure to play with right out of the packaging. With a minimal to no break in period, your child will feel like a pro (even if he/she is a beginner). Wilson’s VictoryWeb design (used also in their adult gloves) is introduced here in this ten inch glove and will make catching balls much easier for younger players aged 7 and under.
- Highly versatile - can be used for any position
- Great for beginner players and younger players
- VictoryWeb design makes it easy to catch balls
- Made of synthetic material with little to no break in period
- Material can feel light and could potentially be susceptible to rips, punctures and tears
Looking for a versatile glove that’s great for beginners? Look no further because Wilson has what your child needs in their A200 Series youth baseball glove to take their game to the next level.
Easton’s Z-Flex ZFX 901 Youth glove is a 9 inch mitt for beginners to the game of baseball. Combining the pinky and ring fingers helps train children from a young age to close the glove properly around the baseball. The glove also feels well made, with nice leather stitching and patchwork.
- Pinky and ring fingers are combined for added leverage when closing the glove
- Made with ultra soft leather
- Z Flex elastic straps for easy closure
- Velcro wrist for increased fit and comfort
- Quality feels good and durable
- Can fit small to size
This Easton’s Z-Flex ZFX 901 Youth glove is an excellent choice for beginners looking for a baseball glove that is comfortable, and easy to use. With a soft, broken-in leather, it is durable and holds up well to the wear and tear of a child’s baseball season.
Which Youth Baseball Glove Would You Recommend?
Any of the above choices would be good options, but I like the GPP1150Y1 from Mizuno as a top pick for 2017. The PowerClose technology combined with overall glove design is quite helpful to teach kids how to correctly catch balls in the pocket of the glove.
As you start your search for a youth baseball glove, I hope you begin with the list above and find something that fits your needs. Good luck in your search!