Being a catcher is serious responsibility – you play an integral role the positioning of a defensive field, and being able to form a tight relationships with your pitcher to get the batsman out at any cost. However, when starting out in the Little Leagues and Big Barrel leagues, a good catcher will need to have the best youth catchers mitt available.
A catcher’s pure ability to catch the baseball is their most important attribute. Any sort of defensive play begins with the catcher being able to effectively catch the ball time and time again. A catcher should then be comfortable with transferring the ball from his mitt to his throwing hand. This should be like second nature.
I mean really, imagine catching hundreds of pitches a day with an undersized mitt with little protection? That hand is going to sting!
Catcher confidence at such a young age will come with trusting your equipment. Having the best protective gear and best youth catchers mitt are absolutely integral.
|Image||Product||Our Rating||Quick Notes|
|Rawling's Gamer Youth Pro|
|Akadema AGC98 Prodigy|
It’s so often that people will ask what size they need. And they’re right – it is so important to right sized mitt. However, what most people might get caught out by is that catchers mitts are measured differently to regular baseball gloves!
Catchers mitts are measured by the circumference of the mitt – not by the length of the hand that other gloves are measured by. This captures the entire catching area of the mitt, and is typically between 29.5-34.5 inches for baseball and softball.
Want the ideal fit?
Measure the top of your index finger to the base of your hand. Subtract that number from 12.5
Then whatever that difference is, subtract from 34.5 in order to get an idea for what size catchers mitt you’ll need.
Your hand measurement is 11 inches. Subtract 11 inches from 12.5 to get a 1.5 inch difference. Take 1.5 inches away from 34.5. The recommended size you’ll need for your catchers mitt is 33 inches!
This is just an estimate, and should not be considered to be absolutely necessary when finding a mitt. Most youth catchers mitts will give rough suitable age information.
Still confused? No worries! A rough guide can be seen here
|Under 7||29.5″ – 30″|
|8-10||30″ – 31″|
|11-13||30″ – 32.5″|
|Over 14||32″ – 34.5″|
The Best Youth Catchers Mitt
Now we’re into the good stuff. You know your size, you know you need a mitt… but you’re unsure as to what to look out for.
The catchers mitt is one of the most personalised pieces of equipment in the game. We consider the most important factors to be overall quality and durability of the glove, the amount of padding within the glove, the feel and comfort of the glove, and most importantly, the price! Like typical baseball gloves, making sure that the stitching is the absolute best it can be is definitely one of the higher priorities.
The following gloves are what we consider to be market leaders in quality – and because youth starting out in baseball will more than likely change positions over time, we take price into full consideration as well.
This glove is designed specifically for youth catchers, being extremely easy to break in (due to the use of a cheaper leather), and sized at 32.5″ that kids starting from about the age of 8 can use. It’s snug, feels soft, and offers great padding for any starting out catcher. The Para Shock palm absorbs most of the shock of the ball, providing less of a rebound for the catchers to deal with. Makes for easier work!
A big thing that Mizuno pride themselves on is the Power Close technology that their youth mitts come with. This makes it a lot easier for younger players to close the mitt and hold on tight to the baseball.
This youth catchers mitt is not only above average in terms of quality, but the price is almost unbeatable. You’re not paying through the roof on this one. Really provides a bang for your buck. But naturally, as this is a lower tier catchers mitt, made with a cheaper leather, don’t expect the glove to last for years – a beginners mitt that is a great starting point for any youth catcher.
If you’re looking for something that’s a little bit smaller and more suited to ages 4-9, Mizuno have their Prospect GXC112 Youth Catcher’s Mitt as well. Another best seller on Amazon, it shares most of the same qualities as the GXC105. Sized at 31.5″
Synonymous with the sport of baseball, Rawlings have been making high quality catchers mitts for years – targeted at youth and adults alike. And you can’t make a list of finding the best best youth catchers mitt without including them.
This glove is in the higher ranges of prices for youth mitts, however, it’s made with quality leather. This also means that it’ll take a little bit more time to break in for someone who’s just bought the mitt. Will probably take a few weeks before it feels nice and snug. Comes in a 32″ size, mainly designed for ages about 7-12.
The glove itself offers great flexibility and durability – and whilst Rawling is more suited to the older players because of it’s price, if you’re serious about being a catcher, then it’s hard to pass up on this glove.
Just like Rawlings, Wilson are one of the biggest names in baseball. Not only do they offer durability and reputation, but their products are usually some of the highest quality there is.
For youths, there’s not much better than the A600 when looking for the best youth catchers mitt. The glove is sized at 32.5″ and suited to youth players around 8-12 range. Higher quality full grain leather compared to entry level mitts, this is surprisingly good value for money. A seriously good option for catchers starting out in the Little Leagues.
Things you might need to watch out for, is that it will take time to break in. This is just a consequence of better quality leather and durability. Wilson’s Dual Welting provides exposed edges of leather to provide a longer lasting break in. For it’s price, quality and performance – this glove is what we consider to be our Top Pick
A bit of a wildcard here – most people haven’t even heard of Akadema. They’re a reasonably new brand on the baseball scene, and provide some of the best selling gloves around. Importantly though, because they don’t have the same reputation as Rawlings or Wilson, Akadema gloves are typically priced a little bit lower.
This mitt, designed especially for youth players, comes in a 32″ size with a spiral webbing which really takes the impact out of the incoming pitch. This is especially seen in the new patent pending Stress Wedge, that is in between the index finger and thumb offering maximum shock absorbance. The deep pocket also makes sure that the ball nestles itself within the leather, avoiding potential rebounds. There’s also significant padding right across the entire glove, focused on the thumb and palm area – you know you’re well protected. The glove is mostly suited to average sized hands aged 8-13.
Whilst again, it’s not the highest quality leather on the market, this option for best youth catchers mitt doesn’t take long at all to break in. Akadema pride themselves on their Akademalyte leather. This is a great option for youth players who aren’t too fussed about brand, want something affordable, and want a mitt with above average quality.
Last, but definitely not the least, is All-Star’s contention for best youth catchers mitt. Although it’s designed as an entry level mitt suited to youth just getting into the sport, that doesn’t deter them away from being built to last. Will take all speeds of pitches, and has more than enough padding to protect your hand. Wide channels also designed for easy closing.
Again, like most other catcher’s mitts in this list, the break-in period is super short to ensure that youth players don’t get impatient when starting out. This glove in particular has a super soft leather design, so you know it’s going to be comfortable. Priced at a reasonable cost – whilst it’s not our most recommended glove, it’s on this list for a reason. You won’t be disappointed.
Size – So this is a common issue among a lot of youth players. They get the mitt, and it just won’t fit. Don’t force it. If it’s not fitting when you get the glove, it probably will never feel comfortable. Finding the best youth catchers mitt means size is important. If you’re over 14 years old, chances are you’ll need to get an adult glove. Keep this in mind!
Breaking in Period – Youth Catchers Mitts – or even standard adult catchers mitts – could take some time to break into. Don’t worry, if it feels stiff to start with, you haven’t been given a faulty product. Please – do not try and speed up the process by putting foreign fluids on the glove, do not stick it in the oven. The best way is to just practice with the glove, and leave a ball in the glove when not being used. This will ensure it keeps shape.
Every catcher needs the highest quality equipment – and there’s nothing more important than finding the best youth catchers mitt to suit your gear. Not only does a catcher need confidence, but it will ensure that their hands are not damaged in the process.
An excellent thing about these mitts is that they’re all of high quality, and reasonably low price range. Naturally, finding the best youth catchers mitts means that you’ll have to spend some time to find exactly what you want.
Research gets you going, but checking out Amazon reviews for authentic customer feedback is always fantastic knowledge. Similarly, as your mates, coach, peers, anyone who has experience with being a catcher. Don’t forget – not every baseball player is a catcher!
Also, if you have a brand preference, stick with them. There’s no need to change if you haven’t had any significant issues with a brand (unless their quality has dropped!)
None of these considered the best youth catchers mitts to you?
If we have missed anything that you consider to be extremely important when finding the right mitt for baseball, please let us know. We’re always on the hunt for reviews, opinions and general feedback.