In this post, like our best 2B gloves and best OF gloves posts, we’ll take a look at the most popular patterns worn by some of the most outstanding athletes in any sport, MLB shortstops. While catchers have an argument, the shortstop position is arguably the most difficult position on the field. As a result of their positioning (so far from first and home), shortstops have virtually no margin for error, making glove choice an important decision. Lets see what glove patterns are most popular among MLB shortstops.
The PRO200 pattern is a popular pattern at every position on the infield, but especially at shortstop. While infielders need a shallower pocket than outfielders, the PRO200 features the deepest pocket of any Rawlings infield pattern, suitable for shortstops who need to cleanly pick 110 mph top-spun missiles off the dirt.
Glove encyclopedia Jay McEvoy (@picklethebeast417) said this about the PRO200:
“A well-rounded pattern and efficient for 99% of playing styles. With a squared off heel and medium depth, the PRO200 is very versatile and one of my favorites for the infield.”
The PRO200’s medium-deep pocket can be deepened significantly by going “two-in-the-pink” (pinky and ring fingers in pinky slot); however, the squared off heel and established break points will lend itself to a thumb-to-ring finger close.
World Series and NLCS MVP Corey Seager contines to run “Old Reliable” out there every night, a pine tar-lathered PRO200 Heart of the Hide (re-branded as the CS5).
Seager’s glove is an 11.5″ model with an H web. Seager keeps his gamer simple and you can get it at Rawlings.com for $280. Dunk it in hot pine tar then leave it out in the sun for four seasons and yours will look just like Corey’s.
Francisco Lindor’s much-talked-about mystery synthetic Rawlings Rev1x is based off the PRO200, an 11.5″ PRO204 (the “4” means 11.5″ *usually*). In previous seasons, Lindor used an 11.75″ Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS205-2 (the “5” means 11.75″).
Once Lindor became a defensive star, Rawlings dubbed that glove the PROFL12. All black leather with red accents paired with platinum labels, Lindor’s gamer is available at Rawlings.com for $280, as well as a youth model ($51) and a sharp camel/black/silver colorway ($280).
If you combined a vacuum with a cannon, you’d have Brandon Crawford at shortstop. Crawford also wears the Rawlings PRO200 glove pattern, specifically the Pro Preferred PRO200-6KB. Its an 11.5″ camel/black combo renamed for Crawdaddy and available at Rawlings.com for $400.
Rawlings has a massive selection of PRO200 pattern gloves available – 49 different offerings can be found on their site. One of our favorites is the patriotic Pro Preferred PROS204W-2NS. The Wing Tip design and Stars and Stripes on the web are swaggy. It is available for $360 through Rawlings.
We mentioned the NP pattern in our Top 5 Glove Patterns for Second Base post, but it must be mentioned here as it is a major contributor at the shortstop position, too. This pattern will naturally break in thumb to middle finger, creating a shallower, flatter pocket. Offered from 11.25″ to 11.75″, the NP pattern is a versatile option on the infield.
WPW favorite Trea Turner had been gaming an 11.75″ PRONP5-1 until he, too, switched to the Rev1X like Lindor. Turner’s all-leather gamer (above) features a single post web and a classy camel color combo. The Rawlings customizer offers his gamer for $380.
We caught up with Trea last summer to talk gloves and he walked us through his game gloves of the past.
Manny Machado wore the NP pattern when he was a shortstop with Baltimore, and still does. The one he’s wearing in the photo above, to this day still stands out. Its a one-piece, which we’ve seen on superb defensive shortstops Javier Baez and Freddy Galvis, too. You can’t get the one-piece, but you can get a two-piece at Rawlings.com for $380 then have it re-laced.
If you’re a fan of a smaller glove, this 11.5″ Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP4 with an I web might be the one for you. This is the perfect option for someone who bounces back and forth between second and short. It is available from Rawlings.com for $280.
Mizuno Pro GMP2
Mizuno gloves are some of the most meticulously crafted gloves in the world, coming in a variety of pocket depths to fit any play style. That variety, combined with top of the line materials, makes Mizuno one of the most popular choices among MLB shortstops.
WPW and Mizuno teamed up to show how a glove is made at their Japan factory. You can see in the thumbnail their shortstop pedigree; left to right, Didi Gregorius’, Nick Ahmed’s, Fernando Tatis Jr.’s and Andrelton Simmons’ gloves are all Mizuno-made.
Fernando Tatis Jr., arguably the most electrifying player in baseball, made the switch to Mizuno in 2020, gaming a GMP2 pattern in two colorways.
Tatis gamed a black and yellow Mizuno Pro GMP2, as well as a camel version this year in San Diego. Tatis’ glove are custom versions of the Mizuno 11.75″ Pro Series glove available for $350 from Dicks Sporting Goods.
As one of the flashiest shortstops in baseball, Andrelton Simmons goes for a flashier look with his Mizuno Pro GMP2 glove. Red and navy leather pair with an I-Web to create this fine-looking “web gem” machine.
Didi Gregorius also wears the GMP2 (pictured in Yankees colorway).
A similar colorway (with black instead of navy) is available at Dick’s for $350.
If you like a little more reach, the Wilson 1787 may be for you. This 11.75″ I-Web glove plays as big as we would recommend for a shortstop, worn by the longest shortstops including 6’1″ Dansby Swanson, 6’4″ Carlos Correa (switched to 1785 in recent seasons), and 6’2″ JP Crawford. Its a perfect-sized glove for someone who plays both shortstop and third base. The 1787 glove pattern can be formed differently depending on how you wear your glove. From our Top 5 Gloves for Second Base:
“…how you wear the glove makes the pocket shallower/deeper. 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.”
Under-the-radar defensive wizard JP Crawford picked up his first Gold Glove in his first “full” season while wearing a subtly swaggy Wilson A2000 1787.
Crawford marries a blonde leather base with Mariners green and black to provide some contrast as well as some serious style. Crawford’s gamer is cloned for $380 through the Wilson customizer.
Dansby’s chocolate beauty is available as a Wilson customizer clone, too.
Correa’s now got his own game model, the same size with a different web for $234 while it lasts.
As an alternative with even higher quality leather, this A2K 1787 is one of our favorites from the 2021 line. A saddle tan beauty accented by black snakeskin, its taken up a notch with hits of white and red. This glove is available for $380 from Wilson.com.
Those are our top four shortstop glove patterns. What did we miss? When you take the field as a shortstop, it comes down to comfort, how you feel, and ultimately, making the plays. We hope we can steer you in the right direction so that you can find the glove that works for you. Let us know down below what glove you game at short and why that’s your go-to.