MLB second basemen need quick hands and quicker transfers, and they demand a glove that facilitates their world class hand speed. This post will look at five of the most popular glove patterns used at second base in MLB and what makes them perfect for the position. You’ll find these glove patterns, or similar variations, on the vast majority of MLB second basemen, and we’ll tell you why they’d be a good choice for you, too.
Also see our Top 4 Outfield Glove Patterns.
The Rawlings NP pattern is one of the most popular glove patterns ever, named for journeyman middle infielder Neifi Perez. Featuring a relatively flat and shallow pocket, the NP glove pattern is ideal for quick transfers, making it a favorite among middle infielders. This pattern will naturally have a thumb-to-middle finger break. The NP can be had in a variety of sizes, but 11.5″ inches may be the most popular length for this glove.
Gold Glover DJ LeMahieu has worn the Rawlings PRO-NP at second for as long as we’ve been watching. Its an all camel, 11.5″ H-Web glove with a tan finger pad. Rawlings released LeMahieu’s gamer as part of their Gameday 57 series, but the 72 units sold out quickly. The closest custom clone is available for $480 through the Rawlings customizer.
Gleyber Torres, in his rookie season at second base, wore an 11.25″ version of the NP pattern, which we’ve built for $380 at Rawlings.com.
Baseball Express offers at least 3 NP patterns, including this flashy Zebra Mesh for $260. Keep in mind, though, that this glove is 11.75″—a little longer and maybe more appropriate for the left side of the infield.
If you’re a middle infielder, the NP pattern might be the #1 option to consider.
The 1786 is Wilson’s most popular infield pattern and might be MLB’s most popular glove pattern since we’ve been keeping track. It is extremely versatile at 11.5″ inches and can play flat or with a deeper pocket (if you are a fan of a “two-in-the-pink” feel). Note: Read on for more on what “two-in-the-pink” means.
Former Stanford Cardinal and current Chicago Cub Nico Hoerner gamed a classically beautiful 1786 at second base this year. The young middle infielder blended classic leather with a perfect touch of Cubs style on this piece, with red and royal accents tying together the blonde and walnut leather beautifully. Hoerner’s gamer can be customized for $380 on Wilson.com. If Nico’s isn’t your style, Wilson offers a plethora of 1786s or its variants at Wilson.com.
The 1786 is a great option for any second baseman who wants color options and versatility.
The DP15 took the infield by storm when it was released in Dustin Pedroia’s prime, and still remains popular with young players (and pros) to this day. Wilson initially developed the DP15 pattern for players with smaller hands. The hand opening was tightened, the finger stalls made smaller, and padding from the heel was removed. Since second basemen tend to be smaller players (of course there are exceptions), it could also be said that the DP15 was made for second base.
Before getting traded from the Cubs to the A’s, Tony Kemp created two masterpieces on a DP15 canvas (above). Kemp is small for MLB standards (listed at 5’6″/160lbs) so the DP15 is a good fit for him. The all-blue is a clean way to standout and can be had for $370 from the Wilson customizer.
As the DP15 is one of the most marketable glove patterns offered by Wilson, its always got great options. Here its offered in black and red with weight saving Superskin from Wilson.com for $234, among other “Pedroia Fit” styles.
The DP15 is perfectly-suited for young infielders, especially second basemen.
The Rawlings PRO31 glove pattern is a relatively new pattern in the Rawlings line, and serves players with smaller hands. This is accomplished through a tighter hand opening and hand stall as well as a reduction in heel padding. The unique dual-welt design creates a somewhat bowled look and feel in the fingers, and happens to look amazing. Its another popular glove choice for MLB second basemen.
Gold Glover Kolten Wong produced our favorite PRO31 of 2020. Wong has used a variety of COLORFUL Heart of the Hide PRO314-7 models, sticking with the 11.5″ pattern and the unique V-Web, which is basically a cosmetic alteration to the H-Web.
This “Hawaiian Style” piece is our favorite glove that Wong has gamed. The Columbia Blue is loud but works beautifully with the Cardinal threads. You can pick up a clone of Wong’s gamer (minus those gorgeous gold labels) for $380 through the Rawlings customizer.
Wong’s 31 pattern glove from 2019 was also a showstopper, available for $380 at Rawlings.com.
Here’s a more classic take on the PRO31 that’s better-sized for 2B (11.5″) and better-priced at $280.
The PRO31 pattern is a great counterpoint to the Wilson DP15, and if you’re a Rawlings guy, this might be your best bet at second base.
While not as common as the NP or 31 glove patterns from Rawlings, the 217 pattern does have its own fan club, including MLB second basemen. You’ll see it from 11.25″ to 11.75″ in length, featuring the deepest pocket of any Rawlings infield pattern.
KC Royals second baseman Nicky Lopez, who gave WPW a Locker Tour, has a slew of Rawlings gloves, but he games the 217. While the baby blue Corey Seager model is a stunner and available for $380, it’s the more classic black and blonde Rawlings PRO2172 that we saw Lopez gaming this year. A full mesh back reduces the weight on this 11.25″ I-Web glove. You can pick up a clone of Nicky’s gamer for $380 on the Rawling customizer.
Another 2B who wears a Rawlings PRO217 is Mauricio Dubon of the Giants. Mauricio’s glove is only 11″ in size (unavailable as a PRO217), and we asked why he likes his glove so small. Here’s what he said:
Mauricio aims to use the smallest glove possible so that he can “make the exchange easier” and so he “(knows) where the ball is in his hand.” When we mentioned Freddy Galvis having an even smaller glove, Mauricio knew Galvis’ exact glove size (!) and said he was “working to get there.” That’s what we call a “Student of the Game.”
What size glove should you use at second base?
The vast majority of second basemen use a glove that is between 11″, like Dubon, and 11.5″ inches, like DJ LeMahieu. At second base in the MLB, 11.5″ inches is probably the most common glove size. This allows for a quick transfer on a double play while still maintaining a sure pocket. The pocket is always the number one priority for a baseball glove. After all, what good is a quick transfer if you don’t have the ball?
Aside from length, how you wear the glove makes the pocket shallower/deeper, too. A shallower pocket is achieved by putting each finger in the expected finger stall. For example, your pinky finger would go in the pinky stall, ring finger in the ring finger stall, etc. Ballplayers call this style “straight up.” It shrinks the pocket, but may improve your transfer from glove to hand, since the ball has less room to move around in the pocket and you can feel the ball better with your index finger. Conversely, a deeper pocket can be achieved by putting the pinky and ring fingers in the pinky stall and shifting middle and pointer fingers over so that the index finger stall is unused. This style, often called “two in the pink,” essentially adds the pointer finger stall to the web. It makes the pocket deeper and the glove easier to close.
What do you think about our list? What’s missing? For all of our second basemen out there, what glove do you game and why? Let us know down below!
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