We have a pretty good representation of Big League stars on WPW. Browsing the MLB profiles, you get a true feel for who is making the best gear in 2015. Its important to understand, though, that at the top of the pyramid, decisions aren’t always made based on what performs best. In some cases, the money might have a lot to do with it. Take Mike Trout for example. Trout came up wearing a Rawlings trap glove. He made his signature catch, a skywalking robbery of a JJ Hardy home run, with the same pattern that Ken Griffey, Jr. wore back in his skywalking days.
Soon after that, Mike Trout became one of the most marketable athletes on Earth, and when that happens, Nike swooshes in with a contract. Few pass that up. I know I wouldn’t. But WPW doesn’t forget. Trout was a Rawlings guy who went with Nike and the money like any sane person would.
Its nice to know what got them there in the first place, too, and that brings us to the birth of a series we’ll call “What Prospects Wear,” where we’ll highlight the equipment that the stars of the future are wearing—before the glitz, before the HD cameras, before the 7-figure bags of money. The minor leagues are anything but a money-grab. These guys, even the bluest of blue chip prospects, work on meager salaries. They are fighting for their careers day in and day out. They need the best gear that they have the most trust in, otherwise they won’t be there long.
Astros #5 prospect AJ Reed, unanimous choice for MiLB Offensive Player of the Year, swings a MaxBat AR18 Maple bat with a Lizard Skin grip. MaxBat tells WPW that Reed, who hit .340 with 34 bombs, likes the AR18 because “the wood is incredibly hard, balanced and its a medium barrel.” The most similar available MaxBat is the R10.
White-on-white Franklin CFX Pro Batting Gloves
Camo Lizard Skin Grip
Orange New Balance 4040v2
Mets #5 prospect, Dominic Smith is all over the new Evo swag. He’s got the whole “Speed Stripe” ensemble, including the leg guard, sleeve, wrist guard, and elbow guard. Shop those here.
Smith is leading the AFL with a .385 batting average, swinging a Tucci RC24 Maple (unavailable), and according to Tucci, Smith likes it for these reasons: “the handle is thin with no flare, and the large barrel with end-loaded feel.”
After a 130 game season, Smith is wearing the 4040v3 with plastic bottoms to take a little bit of stress of his feet.
Giants #2 prospect Christian Arroyo wears the Big League standard for middle infielders, the Wilson A2000 1786 in the classic black/yellow. Looks like this is a custom job, which you can create here. Shop other 1786’s here.
Yankees #5 prospect Gary Sanchez, who leads the AFL in home runs and RBI, swings a Marucci JE22 Maple bat. “JE” as in Jacoby Ellsbury, who may have bestowed some blessed lumber upon Sanchez during his sip of coffee with the Yanks this October.
Sanchez gets the grip he needs from a Lizard Skin/Ortiz CFX Pro combo.
Sanchez does not suffer from lack of options. Four of the best names in the bat business, Tucci, Chandler, Marucci, and Sam Bat.
Of the bats shown, only the Sam Bat TT2 is available.
DBacks #12 prospect Jack Reinheimer just looks like a straight bad-ass in this pic. That’s about all I have to say about that.
Here’s a great look at a beautifully worn A2000 1786 gamer, worn by Yankees #9 prospect Tyler Wade. These colorful Wilson’s seem to get better with age. Rub some dirt on that thing!
Patrick Wisdom, Cardinals #12 prospect, hit a walk-off today to cap off a 6-run comeback in the bottom of the 9th for the Surprise Saguaros. He’s got a cool bat knob decal from Pro Helmet Decals with the Irish symbol often seen on Claddagh rings, meant to represent friendship loyalty, and love.
Phillies #1 prospect, shortstop JP Crawford swings a Marucci CU7 33.5/31.5, with some Franklin Ortiz BG’s and 4040v3s. Seems like the young guys like NB a little bit, huh?
Crawford’s also rocking a Wilson custom A2000. Franklin, Wilson, and New Balance seem to be the favored brands down in the AFL, but we’ll take a deeper dive into this now that its the off-season.
Thanks to Moosetography for getting out there and snagging these great shots for us.
What do you guys think about posts like these?