BY JAY MCEVOY
Bryant. Tulo. Pedroia. While most baseball fans hear these names and think “MVP,” “Gold Glove,” or “Laser Show,” glove guys and gals immediately conjure thoughts of a camel PRO200-6K, a single-post PROTT2, or the special fit of a DP15. Some call it an obsession, others a sickness, but if you’re reading this article, you probably fall somewhere in between.
But who is “next up” to transcend glove culture and have his leather be known simply by name and not by model? Here is a look at five rookies whose gloves you may not have seen yet and are as fun to watch as the players themselves. Do these guys have what it takes to someday be a glove icon?
Kyle Freeland, P, Colorado Rockies – Wilson A2000 CK22
Kyle has only given up a handful of home runs so far while pitching in the mile-high air of Coors Field, and we attribute that to the heat emanating from his glove (and not his Top 5 NL groundball rate or…science).
Freeland is using an absolute stunner of a glove: a Rockies-themed two-piece 11 3/4″ Wilson A2000 CK22 with Pro Stock leather and “Free” embroidered on the thumb. It is about as perfectly composed as a glove can get, with a half-gray, half-blonde back, with a blonde palm and purple embroidery. The black lace, binding, and rolled dual-welting really ties it together, and you really just have to see it to understand.
Pick up Freeland’s CK22 here if you’ve decided to take your pitching swag to the next level.
Matt Davidson, INF, Chicago White Sox – Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO1000-1
Just because he DH’s doesn’t mean that he can’t flash the leather. Matt showed WPW his classic tan single post 12 1/4″ Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO1000-1, the perfect model for third base with its wide heel and deep pocket. He also explained that he prefers his glove’s heel very thin, “almost leather” as he puts it, and ordered this one with most of the heel pad removed to increase control and feel.
Davidson sent over a few pictures during some down time in the clubhouse, and you can tell this man has been putting in the work. Expect to see Davidson breaking in two other tan PRO1000s this year (including a black mesh back) to celebrate each of his children, Brixton and Wake.
Pick up your own piece of third base perfection in a 12″ here.
Josh Bell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates – Wilson A2K 2800
The 24-year-old Bell has worked tirelessly to get better at first base, a position he was only converted to a few years ago as a former outfielder. Bell is making steady improvements everywhere, improving his plate discipline as well as his Defensive Runs Saved. Josh has tremendous raw power and overall skill to be an All-Star, and is destined to be a mainstay in the Pirates lineup for years to come.
It is yet to be determined if Bell has what it takes to be a perennial Gold Glover, however, if he ascends to that level, you’d better believe that some of that will be attributed to his black and blonde 12″ reinforced single post Wilson A2K 2800. This is Wilson’s most popular first-baseman’s mitt, in part because of its double heel break design, giving the player more control over how he prefers to establish the close. Don’t forget about Wilson’s highest quality Pro Stock Select leather, which gives you the highly desirable combination of durability and luxury, all while looking pretty sweet in the process.
Shop Bell’s Wilson A2K 2800 here.
Ryon Healy, 3B/1B, Oakland Athletics – Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS20HCB
Blame an east coast bias for why you don’t hear his name enough, but this kid is an absolute gamer and is ready to take center stage, displaying heart-of-the-order power in his short time in the Majors.
We’re ready to go all-in on Ryon’s glove game, but here’s one that really blew us away during warmups: A 12” Rawlings Pro Preferred PROS20HCB with a modified single post web. There’s a lot of nuance here, from the brown half-mesh back and a bruciato palm and web, to the camel accents (binding, welting, and lace) with a matching brown stitch color with “Jaxson Ryon” on the thumb. Ryon also has his heel pad thinned out, a trend that Rawlings has taken notice of over the past few seasons from both infields and outfielders.
Pick up your own kip leather 11 3/4″ version in a PROS205-13 here.
Cody Bellinger, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers – Rawlings Pro Preferred PROSDCT
Before coming to the Dodgers and hitting a million home runs, Cody Bellinger wore a 13″ Akadema Torino Series ADT 57 in camel and chocolate kip leather. Since his late April call-up, Bellinger has been using a kip leather Pro Preferred PROSDCT at first base (in between home run trots). Cody keeps it simple: Black, camel, the end. Throw in some gold stamping in the palm, and you’ve got his gamer. Here at WPW we love the elegance that exists in such simplicity, especially since his swing is so darn violent and powerful. But don’t be fooled by the lesson in contrast; his PROS303-6K outfield glove looks exactly like his first base-mitt…or is that the other way around? They’re both well-put together, and the black stitch, welting, and lace really works with the camel kip leather shell and palm.
Camel is also never out of style, so pick up yours here.