Buying a New Rawlings Glove? Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Pick the Right One

Kiermaier Pic

The season is upon us and that means Rawlings has released their glove line for 2017. The gloves they came up with are nothing short of fantastic, and we’ve got a full run-down for you if you’re in the market… or if you just want to fantasize about them!

Advertisement

For ease of organization, we separated the 2017 Rawlings gloves into the pattern families they belong to. We also give a recommendation for each model to get a feel for why you should buy and where you should use it in the field:

NP Pattern Family

Pattern Overview: The NP pattern family is specifically made for infielders and every model comes with an I-web. Each model comes with a flat and shallow pocket to go along with a thumb-to-middle finger close.

What Pros Wear: Many MLB players across the infield used the different sized NP models. DJ Lemahieu, Trevor Story, and Kolten Wong have been using the 11.25″ NP2 for a few seasons now, Kyle Seager uses the 11.5″ NP4, and stud third basemen like Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson are NP5 users.

Our Opinion: Although I wouldn’t opt for the NP family of patterns, the use by many players in the pro ranks and on your local field indicate that it is well-liked. If you are a fan of shallow and flat pockets, any of the NP models will be a good fit for you.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP5-7BCH

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP5-7BCH is an 11.75″ model replicated from Manny Machado’s 2016 glove:

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP5-7BCH

It comes in the same chocolate, black, and gray colorway (but without the gold labels):

Manny Machado's Chocolate Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP5 Glove

@KeithAllison

Recommendation: The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP5-7BCH best fits at Machado’s position, third base. It could also be a longer option for a shortstop as the pocket won’t be too deep.

Buy the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP5-7BCH here.

Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSNP4-2CMO

The Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSNP4-2CMO is an 11.5″ model with an even shallower pocket than the first NP model we mentioned. It is also a Pro Preferred, Rawlings’ Kip leather series.

Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSNP4-2CMO

Recommendation: The Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSNP4-2CMO is for a middle infielder willing to pay the $360 price tag in order to get one of the highest quality mitts for up the middle.

Buy the Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSNP4-2CMO here.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP4-2BC

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP4-2BC is the same exact pattern as the Pro Preferred above in Rawlings’ most popular and more cost effective series, the Heart of the Hide.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP4-2BC

Recommendation: We recommend the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP4-2BC for middle infielders who do not want to spend $360 and still get a very nice glove.

Buy the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP4-2BC for $250 here.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP2-2DSGN

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP2-2DSGN is the shortest NP pattern offered, measuring in at 11.25″.

Just by looks, we have to say this is our least favorite model of the bunch:

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP2-2DSGN

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of the colorway, the NP2 will be a great glove for either second basemen or shortstops that like a smaller glove.

There is a trade off for this smaller glove, though. Any NP2 features one of the shallowest gloves we’ve used, allowing for the user to make quick transfers at the expense of length.

Shop the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP2-2DSGN for $250 here.

303 Pattern Family

Pattern Overview: The 303 pattern (recently renamed the 3039) is a 12.75″ outfield pattern with an H-web. Each model comes with a deep pocket, wide width, and a thumb-to-pinky squeeze.

What Pros Wear: The 303 is the most popular outfield pattern from any company in the MLB. Adam Jones, Kevin Kiermaier, and Bryce Harper are just a few of the long list of 303 pattern users in the outgrass.

Our Opinion: Our opinion aligns with that of the pros. We like everything about the 303 and consider it the best outfield pattern not only from Rawlings, but any company for that matter.

Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS3039-6CB

The Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS3039-6CB is a 12.75″ 3039 pattern model. The blonde and black colorway is filthy:

Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS3039-6CB

The colorway on the Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS3039-6CB is directly stolen from the design of Starling Marte’s glove that we both saw in person and talked to Marte himself about:

Starling Marte Rawlings Glove and Hat

Starling Marte Rawlings Glove Side Shot

Recommendation: The Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS3039-6CB is for those outfielders who want one of the highest priced ($360) but highest quality outfield gloves on the market. The filthy colorway is an added bonus.

Shop the Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS3039-6CB for $360 here.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO3039-6BGR

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO3039-6BGR is a 12.75″ 303 pattern model in Rawlings Heart of the Hide line. It features a black, blue, and gray colorway:

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO3039-6BGR

This is another pro’s game model. Can you guess who?

If your guess was Kevin Pillar, you’re correct. The pictures we took and the videos we filmed of Pillar’s glove give you a pretty good feel for what kind of heat the stock Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO3039-6BGR is packing:

Pillar Autocatch Rawlings Glove

Recommendation: The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO3039-6BGR is a cheaper alternative as compared to the Pro Preferred 303 with good durability and a completely different look.

Buy the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO3039-6BGR for $250 here.

200 Pattern Family

Pattern Overview: The 200 family of patterns is the most versatile pattern Rawlings makes. As you will see, there are both infield and pitching 200 pattern models. Its versatility stems from its squared-off heel design, thumb-to-pinky close, and medium pocket depth that really benefit any player on the infield.

What Pros Wear: Brandon Crawford, Corey Seager, and Francisco Lindor are just a few of many 200 pattern users.

Our Opinion: We really like the 200 pattern in all of its facets. The pocket each model forms and the way the pattern breaks in is just magical.

Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS204-6BC

The Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS204-6BC bares a lot of similarities to Brandon Crawford’s glove, but all in all does differ in size (11.75″ for Crawford’s and 11.5″ for this) and the colorways are slightly different.

Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS204-6BC

Recommendation: The length and pocket depth of Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS204-6BC will be great for short or second and fit nicely with the nice Kip leather.

Buy the Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS204-6BC for $360 here.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO204-4DSS

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO204-4DSS is a “tweener” model that measures in at 11.5″ with a modified trapeze web. It comes in a dark shadow, red, and navy blue colorway:

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO204-4DSS

Recommendation: We call it a “tweener model” because it can really be used at either middle infield spot or even on the mound. For the middle infield, the mod trap web makes a firm and shallow pocket and the length is perfect for the positions. On the bump, the mod trap web hides your grips and the 11.5″ length is good for snagging comebackers.

Buy the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO204-4DSS for $250 here.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO205-9SHFS

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO205-9SHFS is a first-of-its-kind glove in that it is solely built for two-in-the-pinky users. It is an 11.75″ model with a grip-concealing two-piece web in a primo sherry colorway:

Rawlings 205 Glove

Rawlings sealed off the index finger slot, removed the pinky ties, and placed a finger pad above the middle finger slot to create this TIP grip-only glove. It’s a bold move, but one that turned out to be awesome.

Recommendation: Most pitchers go two-in-the-pinky today anyways, right? The pattern and new technology make this an awesome pickup for basically any pitcher. The classic sherry look is also something that’s tough to pass on.

Advertisement

Get the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO205-9SHFS for $250 here.

31 Pattern Family

Pattern Overview: The 31 pattern was a new addition to the Rawlings last year. Its main features include a tighter wrist slot, dual welting, and two different size options. Each model also comes with a pocket depth in-between the aforementioned 200 and NP pattern families and a pocket width on par with the NP pattern gloves.

Advertisement

Opinion on the Pattern: I absolutely love the 31 pattern, especially the 11.5″ variant. The tighter wrist was the main seller for me at first, but my love for the pattern has gradually shifted to the juicy pocket that helps me so much at second base.

General Recommendation: If you have smaller hands, you’ll quickly fall in love with any 31 pattern that fits at your position.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO314DC-2BCS

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO314DC-2BCS is an 11.5″ 314 model with an I-web in a camel, red, and suede-like gray (on the thumb and back) colorway:

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO314DC-2BCS

Recommendation: The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO314DC-2BCS will work at both shortstop and second base due to its 11.5″ size and shallow pocket. I would especially suggest this model for players that, like me, have smaller hands.

Buy the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO314DC-2BCS for $250 here.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO315-2SHG

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO315-2SHG is an 11.75″ 31 pattern model with an I-web in a gray and primo sherry colorway:

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO315-2SHG

Recommendation: We find the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO315-2SHG to be a good fit for either a shortstop or third basemen with smaller hands. Before buying, make sure to check and see if you will like a shallow pocket at any of the mentioned spots.

Buy the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO315-2SHG for $250 here.

Other Patterns

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROCM33BSL

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROCM33BSL is the sole catcher’s mitt in the Rawlings Opening Day Gloves. It’s a 33″ model with a black, camel, and sandlot colorway:

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROCM33BSL

Recommendation: We have found the 33″ size to be a pretty great size for almost every catcher to consider a good fit for themselves. Therefore, we recommend the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROCM33BSL for any catcher who wants a good looking and high quality mitt for behind the dish.

Shop the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROCM33BSL for $250 here.

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROFM20BGS

The Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROFM20BGS is the only first base mitt in the Rawlings Opening Day Gloves set, but is sure a nice looking one bag mitt:

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROFM20BGS

Recommendation: Not all first basemen will find the super wide and short length (12.25″) to be a solid fit for them, but you will if you do like the specs we just mentioned. We would recommend the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRODCT (13″) to those one baggers who like slightly bigger gloves.

Buy the Rawlings Heart of the Hide PROFM20BGS for $250 here.

That wraps up the complete list of all of the new Rawlings Opening Day Gloves. Here are some links that may help you find out more about the models, What the Pros Wear, and the never-ending Pro Preferred vs. Heart of the Hide debate:

Rawlings Opening Day Gloves – Rawlings.com: The Rawlings store for all of the Rawlings Opening Day Gloves.

Pro Preferred vs. Heart of the Hide: We asked quite a few pros for their opinion on a heated topic among glove fanatics.

Pro’s Gloves Database: Provides insight into what many of the pros we mentioned in this article are using daily.