Catchers, even at the youth level, have a high level of workload and responsibility. Different to a glove, a catchers mitt is designed in a claw-like shape to ensure the catcher doesn’t miss the ball, and they are fingerless so that the catcher can keep the ball in hand, minimizing the risk of dropping it.
From the best youth baseball cleats to the gloves and training equipment, good quality products are worth investing in. A durable, well constructed catchers mitt can make all the difference for a young athlete who wants to improve their skills, and as important as the design is, the fit, material, and break in time are also key features to factor in.
Once you know the specifications to look out for, knowing how to size a catchers mitt is the next step. Our guide will explain how the mitt is sized, and which sizes are suitable for youth players.
Summary: Our Top 10 Baseball Catcher’s Gloves
Mizuno Prospect GXC112 Youth Catcher's Mitt
Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher's Mitt
Under Armour Baseball UACM-100Y Framer Series Baseball Catcher's Mitt, Black, Youth 31.5"
Wilson A360 31.5" Youth Baseball Catcher's Mitt
Rawlings Sandlot Baseball Glove Series
Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove
Under Armour Baseball UACM-200Y Deception Series Baseball Catcher's Mitt, Black, Youth 31.5"
Mizuno Franchise Series Baseball Catcher's Mitt 33.5"
Mizuno GXC95Y2 Samurai Youth Baseball Catcher's Mitts, 33", Left Hand
MacGregor BBCMPRO Youth Series 32.0 Inch Baseball Catcher's Mitt
Best 10 Youth Catchers Mitt in 2020
With an abundance of youth catchers mitts available online, selecting the best youth catcher’s mitts will require some research. Catcher’s mitts differ in style, construction, and areas of support depending on the padding and materials used.
In essence, catcher’s mitts are there to help the catcher when they’re catching the ball, and this repeated action means that a youth catcher can go through a number of mitts over the years. This becomes costly, so the price vs the quality of the mitts can quickly start to play a determining role in which you decide to select.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best youth catchers mitt in 2020 so that you can easily compare the features of some of the best mitts on the market.
Mizuno Prospect GXC112 Youth Catcher’s Mitt
The Mizuno Prospect GXC112 has a size of 31.50 inches and is designed to close easily and allows youth players to catch the ball without having to force the mitt to close completely. These catcher’s mitts are also padded using a ParaShock feature; shock from the ball is easily absorbed which protects the hand and wrist. This level of protection is essential for youth players, as it avoids injury and supports the wrist and hand.
In addition, the break in time is next to none, as the mitt is made from extremely soft material, and there is a version available for left-handed catchers.
Mizuno Prospect GXC105 Youth Catcher’s Mitt
Made from soft Leather and with a 32.5 inch circumference, the Muzino Youth Catcher’s mitt has a great surface area to catch incoming pitches, making it one of the best youth catcher’s mitts. The mitt is efficient and aids young players as it uses Power Close technology which supports the glove shutting once the ball reaches the catcher’s mitt.
In addition to the Power Close technology, there is also the use of the shock-absorbing ParaShock Palm pad, which spreads the impact of the ball across the whole palm of the glove, making it more comfortable for youth players.
Under Armour Baseball UACM-100Y Framer Series Baseball Catcher’s Mitt, Black, Youth 31.5″
The Under Armour Youth 31.5 Mitt is focused on supporting youth catchers with a lightweight design, without sacrificing the protective padding. Using an open, perforated back, the mitt also has a breathability element, making it more comfortable to be worn for long periods of time.
The thick heel and toe pads decrease the distance that the ball can rebound off the inside of the mitt, aiding the catcher in securing the pitch.
Wilson A360 31.5″ Youth Baseball Catcher’s Mitt
The A360 Catchers Mitt by Wilson has a size of 31.5 inches and is perfect for a young catcher. The glove fits securely due to a hook and loop strap, which also adds to the aesthetics of the mitt. It also uses a half moon web back design to enhance the performance of the catcher in youth baseball.
Although the break in time is longer than other gloves, the leather used is high quality and long lasting, so young players can get a good amount of use out of it.
Rawlings Sandlot Baseball Glove Series
The Rawlings Sandlot Baseball Glove Series is one of the best catchers mitts for youth players, using a 33 inch, full grain oiled shell leather, the mitt is designed for comfort and performance. It is also made popular due to its design and similarity to professional use gloves, the oiled leather offers a vintage look.
Rawlings claims the glove is 90% broken in from the factory, so there is a minimal break in time which is also reduced by the flexibility of the materials.
Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Series Glove
The Akadema AGC98 Prodigy Glove has top quality Steerhide leather in the webbing and palm, which extends its longevity and durability. In addition, the mitt has fantastic shock absorption power, using a double-sided slim padding and stress wedge.
The type of design is called the ‘Praying Mantis‘, which gives the mitt a more expansive pocket to help with impact and spreads the shock absorption evenly.
Under Armour Baseball UACM-200Y Deception Series Baseball Catcher’s Mitt, Black, Youth 31.5″
The Under Armour Deception Series is one of the best catcher’s mitts for experienced youths. Using thick heel and toe padding, the hand and wrist stays protected and ensures that the balls don’t pop out. Full grain leather is used to enhance the quality of the mitts.
There is also the addition of vertical laces between the web and pocket which reduces the chance of the lacing being snapped. This mitt is aimed at high school, travel ball, or college level.
Mizuno Franchise Series Baseball Catcher’s Mitt 33.5″
The Mizuno Franchise Series is 33.5 inches and uses pre-oiled tumbled leather which is designed with durability in mind. The ParaShock pad reduces and deadens the ball when it impacts the glove, avoiding injury.
In addition, the catcher’s mitt includes an MZO lining, used to disperse perspiration, and allow the skin to breathe. Hilo lacing is used; alternating lace patterns provide the same support as a fully laced web but with improved flexibility.
Mizuno GXC95Y2 Samurai Youth Baseball Catcher’s Mitts, 33″, Left Hand
This 2-Piece Closed Samurai mitt by Mizuno is one of the best catchers mitts; left handed thrower players find it comfortable and supportive. It features the same ParaShock technology used across the Mizuno range, aimed at lessening the shock impact from the ball. In addition, it has thumb protection and an open back to help the hand comfortably spread.
The 2-Piece Closed design also reinforces the comfort, making it a great right and left handed youth catchers mitt. The glove is made from full grain leather which is oil-treated to increase strength and durability.
MacGregor BBCMPRO Youth Series 32.0 Inch Baseball Catcher’s Mitt
The MacGregor BBCMPRO 32 inch Catcher’s Mitt for baseball uses full-grain leather, designed for heavy use by younger players. The hook and loop wrist closure is a great addition to secure the glove comfortably around the wrist and upper part of the hand, and the deep grip pockets with scoop toe designs make holding the ball easier.
Using stiff leather, the mitt is durable and suitable for long term use, although some break in time is required to soften the material.
How To Choose the Best Youth Catcher’s Mitt
Choosing the best catcher’s glove is imperative to a catcher’s performance. Although the terms “glove” and “mitt” are used interchangeably, the key difference lies in the security provided by a properly sized catcher mitt. The design keeps the fingers close together, aiding the catcher in catching the ball.
When it comes to choosing the best youth catcher, knowing how to recognize the differences in material, size, and comfort will greatly help younger players in building their confidence on the field. Furthermore, a good quality mitt will help reduce the risk of injury, as the hand and wrist should be well padded and supported.
With a comfortable and well-made catcher’s mitt, they can practice endlessly without feeling uncomfortable and discouraged.
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Youth Catcher’s Mitt vs Adult Catcher’s Mitt
Although a youth mitt can be used for players up to 12 years old, they generally serve 10-year-olds and younger due to their narrow fingers. Kids over the age of 12 should fit into an adult mitt, and most come with a feature that allows the mitt to be tightened over the back of the wrist.
Compared to an adult catcher’s mitt, a kids catchers mitt will made from easy to close materials such as softened leather, and have more padding in an attempt to avoid injury. There are also other factors which come into play, such as the price. Generally, an adult can recognize how long a catcher’s mitt should last according to how much they play, and they don’t have the added expense of purchasing new mitts as frequently.
In youth baseball, a young catcher will grow every year and will need to go through more gloves as they excel at the sport. Additionally, adults tend to have more patience towards stiff mitts that need to break in, whereas many youth catcher’s mitts are designed to break in easily so the child can begin practice straight away.
Youth Catchers Mitt Sizing Chart
|Under 7||29.5″ – 30″|
|8 – 10||30″ – 31″|
|11 – 13||30″ – 32.5″|
|Over 14||32″ – 34.5″|
Different from traditional fielding gloves, a catcher’s glove doesn’t have separately cut fingers and is usually stiffer when it is new. A catching glove is also heavily laced which increases the longevity of the catcher’s mitt. Using a sizing chart will help determine the right fit, as youth catchers gloves are measured by the circumference of the mitt.
Making sure the size of the mitt is correct is important, as the catcher needs to make a lot of rapid hand movements, and the mitt shouldn’t be too tight as it can restrict movement. On the other hand, the mitt shouldn’t be too loose, as the wrist and top of the hand need to be supported, especially when being impacted by a high speed ball.
For baseball youth catchers 12 years or young, catcher’s mitt’s which are around 32 inches are generally the best fit. If you’re looking for fastpitch softball catchers for the same age range, a circumference of 32.5 inches works well.
Learn How to Select a Youth Baseball Mitt Size:
Things to Consider When Buying Youth Catcher’s Mitt
There is a range of factors to consider when buying the best catchers mitt for youth players. A catcher’s mitt should be tested on their leather quality, break in time and sizing, as well as the materials used. It’s also beneficial to look out for whether the mitt comes with a tightening strap, as some youth players prefer a slightly larger glove but still need to be able to secure it properly around the wrist.
In addition, it’s worth noting which types of mitt offer quicker (or no) break in time, as depending on the urgency in which you need the mitt, it can be frustrating to have to spend time breaking the material in before being able to play a baseball game comfortably.
Read on for our comprehensive guide which covers all the key areas that need to be considered when choosing the best youth catchers glove.
When choosing the best youth catchers mitt, the size is arguably one of the most important factors. It’s imperative to remember that for the perfect fit, you need to go by the circumference of the glove and not just the length.
Having the right size choice will increase catching capabilities and enhance precision and accuracy. In general, catching mitts for 12 year old children will be roughly 32 inches, and for 13 years or more a mitt of 33 inches may be better suited depending on the requirements.
To find the correct size of a glove in inches, follow these steps:
A catcher’s mitt typically contains more padding than a conventional glove, as the time of collision when the ball impacts the mitt is increased. This decreases the amount of force applied to the hand and wrist.
Padding is an essential feature of a youth catcher’s mitt; not only does it reduce the chance of injury, it provides comfort for long use. When it comes to high velocity balls being thrown, the right padding in a catcher’s mitt can absorb the shock of the ball and eliminate any pain or stings from occurring.
Many brands now focus on offering high levels of padding, placed strategically to soften the impact of the ball and protect the hand and wrist.
How to Add Padding to a Baseball Glove:
Connecting the thumb and fingers of the glove together, the web is designed to help catch ball and stop them from dropping. They come in different styles and sizes, with players choosing their own personal preferences in terms of flexibility.
In general, the best catcher mitts will always have a closed webbing, helping to catch the ball and secure it. This is beneficial for supporting quick moving balls. Larger baseball mitts will use an open webbing for better visibility.
The back of the mitt comes in two variations; “closed” and “open”. Most players opt for closed catcher’s mitts, as it offers a lot of support and protection to the wrist. The benefits of the “open” back include great mobility, due to the wide opening between the wrist strap and the top part of the glove, similar to an outfielder’s glove.
Adjustable wrist guards on the glove are also available on some models for increased support.
The materials used play a detrimental role in the quality and comfort of youth catcher’s mitts. Softened leather, pure leather, and steer hide are typically used in the best catcher gloves, as the material softens easily and reduces the time it takes to break in the glove.
Whilst real leather can be expensive, there are plenty of alternatives such as synthetic leather, which can be cost effective but still durable and flexible.
Additionally, good quality leather can withstand high-pressure catches and are durable enough for young players to achieve a lengthy amount of use.
Break In Time
Although even the best youth catchers mitt may require some time to break in, the materials used can affect how long this takes. Many brands use softened leather, which is a great option for those who need to start using the mitt straight away.
If the material is stiff, you may need to begin using the glove before introducing it into game play. This is key to the performance of the catcher, if the mitt isn’t properly broken in they may find an increase in dropped balls.
Watch How to Break-In a Baseball Glove:
What Size Catchers Mitt Should a 12 Year Old Use?
Generally, a 12 year old catchers mitt should be between 32 and 32.5 inches, measured by the circumference as opposed to the length. A youth catcher’s mitt (under the age of 12) is generally 31 inches and under.
How Do You Size a Youth Catchers Mitt?
Measurements for a youth catcher’s mitt is different to when measuring an outfield or infield glove. The sizes range from 30 – 35 inches, and the easiest way to size a youth catcher’s mitts is to follow a sizing chart. To measure a glove, flatten the mitt and use a flexible measuring tape to measure the perimeter of the mitt.
What Catchers Mitt Do the Pros Use?
In professional baseball, Rawlings catcher’s mitts are the most popularly worn by pro league players. They attributed to 57% of the league’s mitts in 2018, with All Star coming in at second place with 20% of the league wearing their mitts.
What is the Best Catcher’s Mitt?
The best catching gloves for adults are the Rawlings Preferred Adult range, which uses high quality material and come at a reasonable price. For the best youth catcher’s mitt, the Mizuno and Wilson glove ranges are both popular choices.
What Size Catchers Glove for 13 Year Old?
A youth catcher’s mitt for 13 years and older youth catcher should be approximately between 32.5 – 33.5 inches. Mitts can be as big as 35 inches for those with larger hands.
With the numerous brands available, it can be hard to know where to start when searching for a good quality youth baseball catchers mitt. The selection above narrows down the most popular choices, making it easier to find the right glove to suit you or your child.
Choosing the best youth catcher’s mitt requires looking out for more factors than just the design. As the catcher is required to have a secure hold of the ball, often receiving it at a high velocity, it is important to ensure that the material and padding is also sufficient. Additionally, finding a trusted brand is always recommended as you can be assured that good quality material and production have gone into the making of the mitt.
The sizing is also a key feature to ensure that a youth catcher feels comfortable and secure with their glove. With most mitts being sold online, it can be hard to physically determine whether the size will be completely perfect, but using the guide above should help minimize the risk of ordering the wrong size.