BY DANIEL KLEIN
The theories on hitting are endless, but one thing remains the same, the bat is always in the hitters hands. If the hands aren’t feeling great, it’s going to be a struggle at the dish. Batting gloves are an extension of the hands and must provide the comfort and feel that is desired. Every ballplayer wants his gloves to feel fresh and fit tight each and every time they step on the field and we are here to let you know what companies and models are owning the batting glove game in Major League Baseball.
The first pair of true baseball batting gloves was introduced by Franklin Sports in 1983. Since then, Franklin and many other companies have been modifying and innovating the batting glove to create a better feel for the hitters. Companies use different leathers, pads, and straps to try meet all of the requirements for the elite hitters in the league. Below is an enjoyable video that talks a bit about some top players’ needs:
To help you make your own decisions when it comes to the best batting gloves to pick, we looked at 72 of the top Big League hitters (based on WPW profiles) and what batting gloves they have been using most recently. Obviously this information can change throughout the season with guys switching gloves and companies for various reasons, but you’re not going to find more up-to-date stats on the info for batting gloves in MLB.
Some quick facts:
- There are eight companies supplying to the Big League hitters we’ve profiled: Cutters, Marucci, Mizuno, Louisville, Jordan, Under Armour, and the two big boppers, Nike and Franklin.
- Within these companies there are 18 different models that guys are using.
- About 25% of the guys we looked at stuck with the traditional colors with white at home and grey on the road.
- The most popular batting glove color is white and almost 30% of big leaguers use white at home and on the road.
- Just about every player we looked at had some sort of custom colorway from their brand of choice.
Now lets dig a bit deeper into the brands and models that guys are using.
The top dogs in the batting glove game are without a doubt Nike and Franklin. Franklin has been the official batting glove of MLB since the late ’80’s, but Nike actually has more WPW-profiled guys wearing their gloves. Two-thirds of the guys we’ve profiled use either Nike or Franklin and Nike actually had a slight advantage with 38.9% using their gloves to Franklin’s 27.8% of hitters profiled. Although Nike and Franklin may be the frontrunners, Under Armour (15.3%) is on the rise and Mizuno, Louisville, Jordan (all 4.2%), Marucci, and Cutters all have guys rocking their gloves in the Bigs.
Most Popular Glove Styles
- Nike MVP Pro Elite (14 hitters)
- Franklin CFX Pro (13 hitters)
- Nike Diamond Elite Pro (10 hitters)
- Under Armour Yard VII (9 hitters)
Above are the top gloves, and below are the top players:
Hanley Ramirez: Franklin Pro Classic (unavailable)
Wil Myers and Evan Gattis are beasts and they don’t need no stinkin’ batting gloves.
Now that we know what the pros wear, what do you wear?
…If you liked this report, you’ll probably like our report on:
- Top bat brands swung by MLB stars
- Top glove brands
- Top glove patterns
- Wood type usage (Maple, Ash,etc)
- Top 10 players cleats and why they’re wearing them
- Plastic vs Metal Cleats