It is said by many that catchers are the quarterbacks of the baseball field. A lot goes into each catcher’s ability to command their defense and gain their pitcher’s trust.
Many times a catcher’s ability to receive the baseball is what truly sets them apart from their fellow backstops.
A catcher’s pure catching ability is paramount for a number of different reasons. For starters, commanding the defense starts with receiving the baseball and being able to throw to bases seamlessly.
In addition to receiving, a catcher must have strong receiving skills for the pitcher’s sake. Catcher’s relationships with pitchers are extremely important.
Gaining a certain trust with your pitching staff is a skill that young catchers can develop even at a very young age.
Allowing pitchers to throw the pitches they want in any count they want is a huge benefit for any catcher. This allows the pitcher to feel a certain level of comfortability with their battery mates.
While honing all receiving skills is really what makes a catcher, another large determining factor is a catcher’s equipment.
As is with any position in sports, player equipment absolutely impacts performance. A lot of deciding factors go into a player’s equipment, and even more thought goes into a ballplayer’s glove.
One of the most personalized pieces of equipment in all of sports is a ballplayers glove. The feel, webbing, brand, and personal mold are all factors that differ depending on each owner (player).
Defensively, a player’s glove is involved in every play, deeply impacting performance on that side of the game.
While some positions on the field may be greatly impacted by the type of glove used, you can certainly make an argument that no position is more impacted than the catcher position.
Each glove impacts a catcher’s ability to receive the ball, not only when the ball is put in play, but every pitch.
No position receives the baseball more than the catcher position, thus, no piece of equipment is more important on the field.
While many brands and models are out there for catchers to choose from, there is hope! Below, we will go into the best youth catcher’s mitts. Each model will be rated both by price and quality.
Please also be aware that price in this case is a larger factor, as many times at this age group, it is better to get quality while saving money over just the most expensive, best option.
Each ballplayer at the youth level will be going through a maturity stage as a player and athlete and will very likely change positions more than once or twice.
Because of this, please be very cautious when investing in position-specific equipment, as your young man could very well decide in a year or so that he wants to play a completely different position.
The equipment can make all of the difference, so let’s get right down to it and break down the best youth catcher’s mitts on the market today:
Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher’s Mitt
This model from Mizuno is a great starting point for any young man who wants to start developing his skills as a catcher at an early age.
This glove is a slightly larger catcher’s mitt at 32.5”, but still plenty small enough for a young player to work with.
In addition to the size, some other advantages to this mitt are additional padding in the palm of this mitt as well as Mizuno’s Power Close technology, which makes it easier to close for young players.
Like many of Mizuno’s other youth equipment, this glove is not the greatest quality for the long term, but it absolutely gets the job done for any young player. The one major benefit to the slight reduction in quality leather is the ease of use of this glove.
As is the case with many cheaper leathers, this glove is very easy to break in and use immediately, which is a big bonus for younger players.
Older players are usually interested in forming and breaking in their equipment from purchase, but often times this is not the case with younger players.
Youth players just want to grab their equipment and play, so for that market, this is a great product with above average quality.
Wilson A500 1790 Catcher’s Mitt
As everyone is familiar, Wilson is one of the best names in baseball gloves and equipment. Typically, their equipment is more popular with older players, but this glove is a great value.
Perfect for starters, this glove (32”) is a great size for youth catchers at a good price. Because the leather is slightly better quality, these gloves may be more difficult to break in at times, but are a good glove to teach your young ballplayer how to take care of one.
If your young player wants an MLB style catcher’s glove, this is definitely the glove for them. This glove is made as a youth replica of the A2000 1790 SS, giving it a real pro look. The price for this glove is very reasonable.
For parents looking for a quality glove at a good price with a pro feel, this is absolutely the glove for you.
Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series
Akadema is a newer brand of glove that has only came out over the past ten years or so. Because they are newer trying to break into a difficult market, often their prices are a lot cheaper than some of their competitors, while offering the same quality.
If your young ballplayer does not care much for the name brand of glove, this could be the best youth catchers mitt for you.
This 32” glove with spiral webbing is great for younger players with a deeper pocket. The leather is a perfect blend of quality and flexibility.
Both easy to break in for the younger players and strong enough to stand up to excessive usage.
With padding on the palm and thumb, this is a great low cost option with above average quality.
Rawlings Renegade Series
It does not take extensive baseball knowledge to know that Rawlings is the leader in baseball apparel throughout the sport. None make it better or have been making it longer.
This glove is no different. There is obviously a slightly greater price with the Rawlings models, as there is with their other models.
Because of this, you may want to get your young player a different glove when he is younger and still figuring out what he wants to be and where on the field he wants to play.
For those who are serious about catching at a young age, this could be a great option for you. This 31.5” mitt offers great flexibility once broken in, but much like any quality leathers, it may take a while to form to your player’s hand.
This mitt is the perfect size for serious ten-twelve year olds. The price for this particular glove is actually very affordable. This glove is great for all levels of play.
They have many different options in this series, including two different colors and slightly different sizes, allowing the player to personalize his own glove to some degree.
While Rawlings it typically reserved for older, more serious players, this is a great youth option from them.
Under Armour Youth Framer Series
Under Armour is new to the baseball apparel space, and even newer to baseball gloves. Because of this, they have started off in the youth market.
This glove is actually a very good quality glove at a fair price. The leather is easy to break in and flexible, which would be no problem for any young player. The one thing that Under Armour has going for them with this glove is the style.
Younger players will often take style over quality, so this is one prospective edge that they would have over the competition.
Because they do not have the edge in quality or brand recognition in the market, it is important that Under Armour continues to provide low cost equipment to youth players at a good clip.
Each young ballplayer’s piece of equipment is so important to them. When it comes down to reliability, comfortability, style, and quality, you want to make sure that you are getting your young player the right equipment so that they can go out on the field and succeed. Every piece of equipment makes a difference, but the most important is the glove.
When looking for equipment as a position as imperative to the defense as catcher, you need to make sure you are getting quality equipment that you know can get the job done.
We hope this review helps and best of luck in your upcoming season!