Best Rawlings Baseball Gloves of 2023
Rawlings is the undisputed king when it comes to baseball gloves. In fact, Rawlings is the ‘Official Glove of Major League Baseball”, and it’s estimated that about 60% of MLB players use Rawlings gloves on the field. The company has truly set themselves apart from the pack in terms of their high-quality, dependable, and diverse glove releases each and every year. And while you can’t go wrong with any Rawlings offering, a few position-specific gloves in particular deserve extra interest as the 2023 baseball season gets underway.
Rawlings’ REV1X infield glove features new, innovative technology that will take your game to the next level. Combining Rawlings’ legendary Heart of the Hide steer-hide leather palm and gusset with advanced manufacturing techniques resulted in a defensive masterpiece. Using Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) method, Rawlings created a perfect, 3D-printed lattice structure in the thumb and pinky. This advanced fabrication process also drastically reduces the REV1X’s weight. As a result, the REV1X 11.5 inch infield glove will give you unrivaled feel and protection, without sacrificing durability. The Rawlings REV1X infield glove is currently retailing for $399.95, but can be found for on SidelineSwap.
Our Expert’s Take:
I couldn’t start this list with anything other than Rawlings’ new REV1X gloves. I know that it’s common for a piece of baseball equipment to be called “revolutionary” or “innovative”—but those buzz words have never been truer than with this glove. Although I could talk about this glove’s groundbreaking specs all day, let’s discuss how it handles. You might be surprised to hear that this glove has received some mixed reviews. While many players rave about how comfortable it is (extra finger padding with an elastic wrist strap is a big perk), there have also been complaints about this glove not molding to a player’s hand like a traditional leather glove would. And, well, that’s probably the case because this isn’t a traditional glove. If you’re more of an old school, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” type of person, this Rawlings REV1X isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for something fresh and unique, then you’ve found your dream glove. I personally don’t love the look of these REV1X gloves—but perhaps I’m just old school.
The Rawlings Heart of the Hide R2G first basemen’s mitt was meticulously crafted from ultra-premium steer-hide leather, and comes with an additional 25% factory break-in. In addition to a quicker break-in time, this Heart of the Hide mitt offers supreme comfort thanks to its leather palm lining, thermoformed wrist strap, and padded thumb sleeve. Rawlings redesigned the heel pad on all their R2G gloves to promote an easier close, too. This first base mitt is 12.5 inches long, includes a single post double bar web, and features a classic black/camel design with eye-catching silver accents. The Rawlings Heart of the Hide R2G first basemen’s mitt is currently retailing for $299.95, and can be found for the same price at SidelineSwap.
Our Expert’s Take:
This Rawlings Heart of the Hide R2G (Ready 2 Go) mitt is a favorite among first basemen for a few different reasons. For one, it arriving to you already 25% broken in is a massive benefit if you’re buying a new glove last minute. And even if you are buying a glove months before you’ll be using it, a lesser break in time is always nice. In addition, the thinner heel pad is going to make for an easeful break in period, as well. It’s worth noting that this glove isn’t intended for youth players, as it’s designed to fit an adult’s hand. But if you’re playing at the high school level or above, this first basemen’s mitt should be strongly considered. I personally love the combination of black, camel, and grey colorway too.
Rawlings’ 2022 Pro Preferred Pitcher's Glove crafted from the finest, ultra-luxurious kip leather to offer superior quality and performance. Its camel colored Speed Shell back reduces weight and offers added style and durability, and is perfectly accented by the black palm, scarlet, and Columbia blue colorway. In addition, all of Rawlings’ Pro Preferred gloves feature a super comfortable Pittards' sheepskin lining, wool wrist strap, and padded thumb sleeve for an unmatched feel every time you wear them. This gamer was also constructed in Rawlings popular 200-pattern, which offers a deep, wide pocket, and a modified Trapeze web. This Rawlings 2022 Pro Preferred pitcher’s glove is currently retailing for $379.95, and can be found for a comparable price on SidelineSwap.
Our Expert’s Take:
Any Rawlings Pro Preferred offering should be considered when deciding which glove to buy—though this 2022 pitcher’s glove might top that list. A big reason why is because this glove’s Speed Shell is a synthetic microfiber that Rawlings uses on select baseball gloves. They use this material to replace sections of leather on the glove’s back, which makes it 15% lighter while adding a unique texture to the glove’s surface. It’s an awesome addition which, when combined with this glove’s black, scarlet, and Columbia blue colorway, makes for a gorgeous glove. I must also admit that I’m a sucker for modified trapeze webs, as well. If you’re a pitcher who wants the perfect Pro Preferred glove, you’ve found precisely what you’re looking for.
Rawlings R9 Series Youth Catcher’s Mitt
Rawlings’ R9 Series Youth catcher’s mitt was crafted with a one-piece solid web and quality leather construction to make for an easy break in. As a result, you'll be able to frame more pitches as strikes, and help keep your team in control of every inning. In addition, all of Rawlings’ R9 series gloves are made with a padded thumb sleeve and finger-back liners to give you more support and protection. They're also created with a reinforced palm pad, so you don't have to worry about stingers on even the fastest pitches. This Rawlings R9 Series Youth catcher’s mitt comes in 32.5 inches, features a black colorway with gold stitching, and is currently retailing for $129.95. It can also be found at comparable prices on SidelineSwap.
Our Expert’s Take:
This Rawlings R9 catcher’s mitt is the only inclusion in this list that’s meant for youth players. Yet, this isn’t just a great catcher’s mitt by youth standards—an adult version of this glove would surely sell, as well. What stands out about this R9 Series catcher’s mitt is the combination of softness and high quality leather that it comes with. Its leather shell will allow this glove to maintain its shape, and the fact that it’s softer than most youth catcher’s mitts makes for a much easier breaking in process—which, considering how difficult it already is to break in catcher’s mitts, will be a godsend for many youth catchers. Not to mention that this mitt is going to be less expensive than most comparable catcher’s mitts on the market, while still offering the same quality and dependability. If you or your kid catcher wants a Rawlings mitt without burning a hole in your wallet, this R9 Youth model should be the perfect fit.
Rawlings Pro Preferred Ronald Acuña Jr. Outfield Glove
The Rawlings Pro Preferred Ronald Acuña Jr. outfield glove that’s masterfully crafted from the finest, ultra-luxurious, full-grain kip leather. This gives you the superior feel and performance that Pro Preferred gloves are famous for. Like many of the game's top pros, Acuña Jr. trusts Rawlings’ 12.75 inch 303-pattern, combined with our classic H-web provide a huge, deep pocket for ultimate ball snagging capabilities. In addition, all of Rawlings’ Pro Preferred gloves feature a Pittard's sheepskin lining, wool wrist strap, and padded thumb sleeve for unmatched feel and additional comfort. The Rawlings Pro Preferred Ronald Acuña Jr. outfield glove is currently retailing for $379.95, but can be found for less on SidelineSwap.
Our Expert’s Take:
I had originally planned to not include player-specific Rawlings gloves on this list. But when it came to this Ronald Acuña Jr. glove, I couldn’t resist. This glove has every classic Pro Preferred quality that we all know and love (kip leather, wool wrist lining, incredible comfort, etc.), and also adds the gorgeous colorway that’s inspired by the Atlanta Braves. Regardless of your age or skill level, if this Rawlings Pro Preferred Ronald Acuña Jr. outfield glove fits within your budget, you should strongly consider purchasing it. I would suggest buying it only if your team’s colors match that of the Braves—but this glove is too sweet to let color schemes stop you.
Rawlings hasn’t forged a flawless reputation for nothing. It’s taken decades of crafting excellent gloves and receiving praise from customers to cement themselves as the king of baseball gloves. And considering the exquisite models they’re releasing year after year, they might be holding their spot at the top of the food chain for a long, long time.