The 2018 offseason will be memorable for its weirdness. The business of baseball is in transition.
Surefire Big Leaguers are still home on the couch while teams shamelessly tank their 2018 season before it even begins.
The same question can be asked of the equipment landscape, where a similar transition is taking place. A lot of star power is shifting to new brands, and as we toured the Grapefruit League, this is what we saw.
Josh Donaldson is testing new glove suitors. Read more about that here.
Robinson Cano and Yadi Molina have changed out their New Balance footwear for Nike and Jordan, respectively. Here, he’s in Trout 4s with Nike gear, but he eventually donned the Jordan 12s.
Here he is in the 12s, though they’re hard to see. You can get the same cleats on eBay here.
Alex Bregman has switched to Easton, leaving Marucci behind. He’s got some options:
Easton’s top-of-the-line glove right now is called the Legacy Elite, which is a good-looking piece. Shop them here.
Marcus Stroman’s switch from Nike to Jordan gloves was a byproduct of his break-up with Jordan. As nice as his Nike gloves were, these Rawlings are no less fresh. Which glove would you take to the bump?
For me its this one… maybe out of any glove in the league right now. Pure unadulterated fire. Here you can see the Adidas Power Alley 5 cleats on his feet, too.
Manny Machado hasn’t changed glove companies but the gamer has been known to change more often than most platinum glove types. Machado is currently mixing in an orange stunner with platinum labels. Its one of those gloves that you can’t take your eyes off of.
Check out the personal logo palm stamp.
Machado’s glove is a PRONP5 with a rarity: a one-piece web. This is common for a pitcher, but an anomaly for anyone else. Maybe he likes the stability of the one-piece? Nevertheless, you can get a similar glove here, or you can get Machado’s I-Web glove here. Also of note: Manny’s Oakley Radar EV sunglasses.
Bonus close-up for no other reason than platinum labels.
Machado’s Jordan 9s are a clean, classic Jordan. They look great…when you can see them. (You can buy the Jordan 9 cleats just like Machado here.) With Machado’s bell-bottoms, however, the best parts of the design are covered. I cannot express this enough, the bell-bottoms situation is ill-advised. You’re wearing J’s on a baseball field, which in itself makes you cooler—so why are you hiding them? It makes no sense to me. Baseball pants should be cuffed around the ankle, and should not obscure the swag in any way.
The 12 turfs though… notice how much better they look when YOU CAN SEE THEM.
Machado wore the black PRONP5 with gold labels in BP. That model (without the gold labels) can be had here.
Sadly, Adam Jones wears the bell-bottoms, too, so we had to sneak a shot of the full cleat-on-foot in BP. Jones’ customs are based off the Swingman Legend with different plates.
Another trend at Spring Training is pitchers wearing Under Armour gloves. This is a regular thing in Japan, where UA gloves are popular, but this is a developing situation in the MLB. Jose Berrios aka @jolamakina is breaking in an Under Armour glove
with a label we’ve never seen. JustBallGloves.com has this glove for sale here.
The small letters say “Hand-Crafted Performance.”
Torii Hunter has been retired since 2015 but the swag is forever. 2017 Platinum Glove winner Byron Buxton, who sees Torii as one of his heroes, told WPW about how he basically forced Torii to break in his glove. You can’t blame him. Hunter is one of the best defensive center fielders ever, winning 9 consecutive Gold Gloves and good for a “Web Gem” per game in the 2000s.
Hunter wore Buxton’s heavily camo mesh PRO27HFDSPRO. During his career, Torii wore the Griffey PROTB.
This video is a must-watch. If Hunter isn’t one of your favorites he will be after this.
Buxton showed off a new batting glove and shoe brand, adidas, who is taking a lot of market share early in 2018.
Buxton wore the Dame 4s in the outfield, and his Rawlings PRO27HFDSPRO. This is the closest you can get to Buxton’s custom.
You might be trying to fight it, but you love the camo mesh back. You just might not know it yet.
More to come…