As expected, Wilson’s 2017 baseball glove catalog is outstanding. They update a few previous models, build on others and deliver a few new ones, too. We spent several hours using the gloves, perusing the Wilson glove catalog, discussing the details with Wilson directly to put together this 2017 Wilson Glove Review. It falls as a subset of our baseball glove reviews page.
Wilson Glove Review
We reviewed a number of sources while putting together this review. You may find them useful in your research. Wilson’s glove site, as well as the official Wilson Ball Gloves Instagram account, were very helpful resources. Closeoutbats.com Wilson product section was helpful to check pricing and see what models were still offered.
Where to Buy Wilson Gloves?
Like the other major baseball glove vendor (Rawlings) Wilson’s distribution, glove selection and availability is unmatched. You can find these gloves pretty much anywhere. We usually start by checking out Closeoutbats.com. If they lack the model, which they rarely do, then Amazon is always a good bet too.
Understanding Wilson’s Glove Catalog
Considering there are forty-two different top shelf performance gloves within the Wilson brand offered in 2017, organizing them into groupings small enough to find what you want is not terribly easy. If you are simply looking for some general directions in terms of the 2017 Wilson baseball brand, the following should be helpful.
Classes vs Patterns
To put you on your way, it is helpful to recognize Wilson gloves are divided into a class and a pattern. Ultimately, there are two classes of Wilson performance baseball gloves. They are, in order of most to least expensive, the A2K and the A2000. Within those two classes, there are twenty-seven different patterns. All patterns are not found in each class, but some patterns are found in both classes.
As a subset to the A2000, Wilson offers a Super Skin version of many A2000 or A2K patterns. This is referred to as the A2000 or A2K Super Skin, or for short, A2000SS or A2KSS. This Super Skin subset is so prominent in the catalog, some may consider it a class all its own. But, for our purposes here, we keep to the two class framework.
Wilson Game Models
There is one more catch. Wilson teams up with big time players to design a specific pattern to their liking. That pattern is added to a class, the A2000 and/or A2K, depending on the internal makeup of the glove. Wilson refers to this type of glove as a Game Model. Like the Super Skin, it is such a prominent subset of gloves that some might consider it a class all its own. In some regards they are correct, but for our purposes here, Game Model gloves are simply different patterns found within the class of an A2000 or A2K.
Wilson’s Glove Pattern Options
In 2017, Wilson will sell 27 different patterns across the major positional gloves. That is, 27 different functional designs spanning infield (14), outfield (3), pitcher (3), catcher (4) and first base (3) gloves. Of those 26 patterns, 21 will be newly designed 2017 gloves.
Although glove designs and webbing features are not necessarily unique to Wilson, the model pattern design reference numbers are. These are not like, although we wish they were, the wood bat market that uses industry wide model numbers for a given bat turn.
However, the numbers on Wilson gloves are becoming more commonplace. For example, the 1786, arguably Wilson’s most popular glove, is often referred by that very name. So is the DP15. Here is our chart detailing each pattern in the new 2017 Wilson Glove catalog. Notice, again, patterns are not exclusive to the class of (A2K, A2000) glove.
Wilson Baseball Glove Reviews
In time, expect us to review each pattern in the 2017 Wilson catalog of baseball gloves. Below gives a brief overview of the two major classes of Wilson performance gloves (A2K and A2000), as well as a rundown of the Super Skin benefits and the Game Models.
Game Model Glove Reviews
Game Model Gloves from Wilson are player specific gloves that were designed directly by the MLB player in partnership with Wilson. Each Game Model glove fits into the category of an A2K or A2000, but have their own unique functional and color design.
We give Game Model gloves a shout out in this Wilson overview because they are unique enough to single out, although we generally consider them part of the A2K and A2000 classes below. The Game Model Wilson gloves are, by many accounts, the most exciting gloves on the planet.
Often Game Model gloves have a two to three year shelf life before they are redesigned again by the player. You may find, for example, the Clayton Kershaw game model is still sold by Wilson, but it was designed and produced originally as a 2016 glove. Jose Altuve, on the other hand, has a newly designed game model glove in a 2017 version which updated his 2015 version. Of the nine Game Model gloves currently sold by Wilson, six of them are 2017 versions.
Wilson A2K Glove Reviews
A2K Wilson gloves are the best stock gloves Wilson makes. Many MLB players use these stock gloves—with maybe a flair or two of custom color design. By our last count, a few more than a hundred MLB guys use the Wilson A2K specifically. In 2017, Wilson offers twelve A2K gloves, three of which are Game Model gloves (DATDUDE, DP15 and DW5). The other nine gloves are newly designed for 2017 in a jet black and blonde leather look.
In terms of design, the A2Ks come standard with the best leather the market can find. In relation to the A2000, the glove is further shaped by Wilson Glove technicians for a faster break in time. It also uses a thin leather strip between the back of the hand and the palm liner. The A2K is the premier stock glove from Wilson, and in terms of desirability and distribution, likely on the entire market. They are also the most expensive gloves Wilson makes.
Wilson A2000 Gloves
As a premier pro stock glove, the A2000 has almost no competitors in terms of usage and branding. As much as the A2K is loved by pros, the A2000 is used almost twice as often. Wilson currently produces twenty A2000 gloves, ten of which are made new for the 2017 season. Three of those new 2017 A2000’s are also Game Model gloves.
Known for the glove’s perfect break in and fantastic durability, the A2000 is a coveted piece of art, both vintage and modern. Few serious players would not be happy to use it. And most serious players wish they had one. With a few arguable exceptions, no glove class is more interesting to write about than the A2000 from Wilson.
A2000 Superskin Reviews
A few years back, Wilson began offering a lighter cover on the backhand. This added a quicker break in time and a much lighter feel while still maintaining the shape and durability high grade leather used in the palm. This design is called the Super Skin and finds its way into many patterns today.
There are a total of thirteen Super Skin versions in Wilson’s current catalog. Eight of those gloves are new to the 2017 line up. Of those eight, one is a Game Model for Robinson Cano. He is the only Pro to use the Super Skin. Also, twelve of the thirteen models fall under the A2000 class. The remaining, a 1788 pattern, is the only Super Skin model made with A2K craftsmanship.
Wilson makes a 12.75-inch glove with a web many call a 6-finger design. It looks much like a sixth finger sits in the middle of the pocket and is connected to the thumb and pointer finger by glove lace. This design is a classic, industry wide outfield glove look. Wilson refers to this particular pattern as the Wilson OT6 and offers the model in both an A2000 and an A2000 Superskin version. Although not nearly as popular as it once was, the OT6 is recommended to outfielders looking specifically for the six finger design who want a top shelf Wilson made glove.
The OT6 comes in an A2000 and an A2000 Superskin model. On the whole, the general recommendations are similar. Those that appreciate the six finger web design—Rawlings calls this the Trapeze—on a traditionally sized 12.75-inch outfield glove are looking in the right place with this OT6. The lack of any cross bar on the top of the web makes for a different experience that may take some adjustment for newcomers to the style.
Deciding between the A2000 OT6 and the A2000 Superskin OT6 is a decision worthy of more details. You may also find our Wilson A2000 Superskin Reviews a helpful place to start.
The A2000 OT6 comes with the traditional features the industry has come to know, mimic and love in a baseball glove. It uses a Pro-Stock leather and rough dual welting on the backhand. It differs from the A2K in a thinner palm and a less premium leather.
The A2000 Superskin uses the same forehand as the A2000 OT6, but adds a unique synthetic backing. This backing makes the glove more durable, easier to work in and lighter. Some prefer this. As they are the same price, others think they should be paying less for less premium leather. That is not the case in comparing the A2000SS and A2000 OT6.
In terms of an outfield glove that is 12.75-inches, the most comparable glove within the Wilson brand is the 1799. This is, as we discuss in our review, the most popular outfield glove Wilson makes. The major difference between this glove and the OT6 is the change in the webbing. In today’s market, this dual post web tends to be a bit more popular, especially among Wilson glove lovers.
Outside of the Wilson Brand there are several 12.75-inch gloves built specifically for outfield. Many use that same ‘six-finger’ web design. Of those, the most popular is the Rawlings Heart of the Hide 303 series that uses the Trapeze (Rawlings’ name for the six finger glove). The Heart of the Hide gloves compare well to the A2000 series in terms of attention to detail and premium leather. This 303 Heart of the Hide is a very close comparison to the A2000 OT6.
The Wilson A2000 EL3 is an 11.75 inch glove built for a traditional thirdbasman. It is a game model glove named after Evan Longoria. We spent time with the glove, spoke with Wilson about it and exchanged emails with a major vendor about what type of player likes the glove. On the whole, the Wilson A2000 EL3 is fantastic. We would quickly recommend the glove to bigger thirdbasemen who prefer a durable pocket and a pro-stock leather glove with a great shape and feel. Below is our full Wilson A2000 EL3 review.
As an A2000 stock model, the EL3 is a top shelf choice for an good third baseman who prefers an 11.75-inch glove. We are not sure there are many true shortstops who appreciate the single post web AND the heavier full leather 11.75-inch glove. We have yet to see a 2nd baseman using an 11.75-inch glove.
With that said, we would quickly recommend the A2000 EL3 to the elite and strong third baseman who prefers an 11.75 inch glove. As an A2000 model, you can expect fine craftsmanship and the flagship glove of the entire industry.
The EL3 stand as a unique option in the Wilson infield space. It is the only 11.75-inch glove with a single post web design. Wilson’s other 11.75-inch utility infield gloves, the CC1 and 1787, are built with a middle infielder’s H-web type pocket. The other glove with a focus on a third baseman is the Game Model from David Wright. That glove, however, comes with a dual post web and a 12-inch length.
Outside of the Wilson brand, the only comparable 11.75-inch infield glove with the single post web design found is Easton’s LE MAKO 11.75. This glove, however, uses some synthetic material on the back. The intent is to make this glove more mobile as less leather implies a lighter glove.
Wilson EL3 Glove Features & Sizing
Wilson’s EL3 glove comes with all the standard features of a Wilson A2000. That is, it uses Pro-Stock leather. That leather comes from specially bred cows in Japan that Wilson harvests specifically for making gloves. You can read much more on the make up of A2000 Wilson gloves on our review.
After learning all we could about the 1790 Wilson Catcher’s Mitt by speaking to a few major vendors, as well as speaking with Wilson directly about the glove’s design and purpose, we took the glove for a spin ourselves. We also read online reviews about the 1790 mitt to see how our firsthand experience compared with others’. Below we discuss recommendations, as well as what we learned about Superskin on a catcher’s glove. Count the following as our Wilson A2000 1790 catcher’s mitt review.
The glove’s serial number is WTA20RB171790SS. The SS stands for Superskin.
Wilson A2000 1790 Catcher’s Mitt Recommendations
On the whole, the 1790 catcher’s mitt is designed for a big time player that catches big time heat. It is the largest catcher’s glove Wilson makes and is built to take a beating. That big size comes with the benefit of serious durability and a tough break in.
As such, we would recommend the 1790 Wilson catcher’s mitt to high school or above catcher’s who need or prefer as much padding and plate coverage as possible. Smaller players, or those who wish to see as much mobility as possible, might struggle with the 34-inch circumference. Although the Superskin backing does lighten the load and make the break in easier, the 1790 is still a big boy mitt made for big, strong folks.
Wilson A2000 1790 Catcher’s Mitt Sizing and Construction
The A2000 1790 Catcher’s mitt is a traditional glove design with the very popular half moon web pattern. It comes with the A2000’s signature Pro-Stock leather. This leather, you may recall from our Wilson A2000 glove reviews, is bred from a particular cow in Japan to which Wilson owns the rights.
Some argue that less premium on a premium glove may make the glove less premium. If anything, they suggest a glove with less premium leather should be less expensive than one with more. That is the argument some find against the 1790—which consists of the Pro-Stock leather in the palm and webbing, but a synthetic backing Wilson calls Superskin.
But in terms of function, a lighter, more durable and water resistant material on the back hand of a catcher makes a lot of sense. Especially when considering the size of the 1790, the addition of top shelf Superskin is very smart. It is so smart, in fact, by our last count, no less than 14 MLB catchers (including Evan Gatis and every Rockies catcher) use the 1790 with its Superskin backing. That is more than the Wilson M1, 1791 and CM33 combined.
If Superskin is good enough for them, we dare say it is good enough for a top end high school or collegiate catcher.
Wilson A2000 1790 Catcher’s Mitt Comparable Gloves
Within the Wilson line there is a comparable option. Wilson’s M1 catcher’s glove is a similarly designed catcher’s mitt with the half moon web and Superskin backing. The only noticeable difference is the 33.5-inch circumference vs the 34-inch found on the 1790. The M1 is plenty popular at the big league level—just nothing compared to the 1790. If you would like a bit more mobility than the monster 34-inch 1791, then the M1 is your pick.
We should note, the M1 comes in an A2K version. Meaning, if you want premium leather and little more padding in the palm for a longer break in, the 1790 doesn’t have that option. See our A2K vs A2000 differences.
Outside of Wilson, Yadier Molina’s Rawlings Heart of the Hide Pro Mesh is a similar glove in terms of a 34-inch circumference on a top quality leather palm. They also use a different, lighter backing that is meant to replicate the Superskin concept. Wilson Superskin lovers, without much surprise, are unimpressed with the Pro-Mesh.
The Wilson A2000 DP15 Superskin glove may be the most popular specific model in Wilson’s entire line. We have both used the glove and spoken to others who have, as well. Time on the phone with major vendors and Wilson corporate helped us get a feel for the type of player the glove is made for and who should buy this particular model over a number of different models Wilson offers. We compared to the A2K and A2000 versions. Those details, and more, are found in the following Wilson A2000 DP15 Superskin review.
We would quickly recommend the DP15 to middle infield players who are comfortable with a thinner palm for a better feel on the placement of the ball. Generally, the DP15 will be better for middle infield players, but we don’t see why a third baseman could not use it as well—as long as they are cognizant of the fact that a hard grounder at the hot corner placed in the palm will ring less with a glove that has some added padding.
The A2000 Superskin version of the DP15 is better for those who like or need a lighter glove and subscribe to the idea that the Superskin is more durable and performs better in wet weather. We agree that it does. It is also helpful to like the look of the Wilson A2000 Superskin DP15.
Wilson A2000 DP15 Superskin Sizing and Construction
The DP in the DP15 stands for Dustin Pedroia. This glove is an 11.5-inch middle infield glove with an easier work-in, long laces, and a tapered wrist slot. The Superskin version of the DP15 adds flexibility and an even quicker work-in than the A2000 and A2K. The DP15 is built with those specifications.
The easier work-in comes from a thin and flat palm. Whereas most other premium gloves come with at least a little bit of padding in the palm, the DP15 is considerably flat and thin. Other A2000 and A2K gloves do not use this design, as many really appreciate the added padding.
But it turns out, thinner padding in the palm allows for both an easier work-in, and some would argue, better and quicker access to the ball. As a premier second baseman, we can see why Pedroia would prefer this feature.
Tapered Wrist Slot
Unlike most other gloves in the premium space, the DP15 has a considerable tapered wrist slot. Those with larger hands may struggle to get the glove on. But, those with average to smaller sized hands, or those in the youth and travel ball space, may very well like the tighter fit.
The tapered fit (Wilson likes to call this the Pedroia fit) is not necessarily made for smaller players. it is, however, made for players who like a tighter fit on the hand. Those players can be big or small. Our experience is that smaller handed people like the tapered fit. This feature is what makes the DP15 one of the most popular gloves on the market.
The unique feature to the DP15SS is the synthetic backing instead of the same premium grade leather in the palm. This Superskin, as Wilson calls it, makes for a lighter glove that is easier to break in. As well, the Superskin is claimed to be more durable and does not get weighed down in wet weather.
We have yet to see Dustin Pedroia use the Superskin version in game. He prefers the A2K or A2000 versions that have the full leather backing. Still, the DP15 Superskin (aka DP15SS) is a very popular glove, and likely, the most popular glove in the DP15 lineup.
Wilson A2000 DP15 Superskin Review Comparisons
There are a few gloves that appear a bit like the A2000 DP15. Not very many, at least in the elite space, have a smaller wrist slot. But, there are a few—even a couple within the Wilson line. We point out a few of them here.
A2K DP15 vs A2000SS DP15
The A2K DP15 maintains the same sizing specifications and thin palm as the DP15 A2000 Superskin. However, the A2K version is heavier, as it does not have the same Superskin version on the back. Additionally, the A2K uses what Wilson refers to as Pro-Stock Preferred leather, instead of the Pro-Stock on the A2000 SS. Wilson claims the preferred is a more premium leather, and at first touch, it would appear so. The A2K has a softer feel.
Also, the A2K version has an additional layer of leather on the palm to help with durability. This makes for a more difficult break-in (although it should hold longer) when compared to the A2000SS.
The 2017 version of the A2K DP15 also has straighter fingers and a deeper webbing than previous years. These changes are almost unnoticeable if you are not a DP15 connoisseur, but they are there. As of this writing, the DP15 A2000SS was last produced in 2016 and has yet to see those slight changes.
A2000 DP15 vs A2000 DP15SS
The A2000 DP15 and the A2000 Superskin DP15 are differentiated only by the use of Superskin on the back of the glove. We detail the general differences in our A2000 vs A2000 Superskin Wilson Glove article. In short, the addition of a synthetic on the back makes the glove more durable, more weather resistant and easier to break in.
1786 vs DP15
Compared to the 1786, the DP15 uses a more tapered wrist slot and a lower knuckle bridge. It also has longer laces, and as we discuss above, a flatter (less padded) palm. They are similar in the sense of an 11.5-inch glove made for middle infield. They both also come in a Superskin, A2000 and A2K version.
With one exception in 2017, Wilson Superskin Gloves are A2000 model gloves made with a different man made material on the back. This material, called Superskin, replaces the leather and delivers the benefit of making the glove more durable and lighter. We discuss why some thing that is great idea, why others do not and give a short overview on each pattern in the following 2017 Wilson A2000 Superskin Glove Review.
Superskin gloves are a thin and synthetic backing on top end Wilson gloves. It is a thinner material that is lighter, weather resistant, more durable and easier to break in when compared to leather. About 1/3 of the pros that use A2000 gloves have them in a Superskin. The other 2/3 use the traditional leather.
As a man made synthetic, many wonder why the glove costs as much as a full leather glove. Or why some would consider the Superskin as a good of glove as a full leather one. Within the industry and the business, leather is perceived to be the better and more expensive material. It is a fair argument and one, we believe, Wilson has struggled to come to a solution on.
On the other hand, folks who like Superskin appreciate the pro-stock leather in the palm and glove sides, but see the benefits of a lighter glove that doesn’t change weight when it rains. They also appreciate how fast the glove can work in and hold its shape while also being more durable than a straight leather glove.
If you are deciding between an A2000 and an A2000 superskin the short answer is you really can’t go wrong. About 1/3 of the pros who use an A2000 use Superskin and 2/3 do not. Expect the Superskin to have a longer life.
Wilson A2K Glove Reviews 2017 Catcher
The M1 Superskin is a traditional feeling 33.5-inch catcher’s glove that uses the ligher superskin backing. This is likely our favorite catchers glove on the market. The thin and durable backhand is a real winner. The M1 comes in an A2000 too.
The RC22 is Ronbinson Cano’s actual game glove. About 1 out of 3 players that use an A2000 get it with Superskin on the back. Cano was one of the very first as he loves how light it is and that the glove doesn’t get weighed down when wet.
Wilson’s A2000 DP15SS is a version of Dustin Pedroia’s game model glove built with the superskin backing. Expect, as in all DP15 gloves and 11.5 inch traditional H-web pattern with longer laces and less padding in the palm when compared to the other A2000 gloves. The DP15 Superskin is a 2016 design.
Wilson’s 1786 is there most popular glove. It is a traditional 11.5-inch middle infield glove that younger kids could find success with in the outfield and on third base. It uses the traditional I-web pattern on the back. This glove comes in the A2000, the A2K and this A2000 superskin version. This 1786SS is a 2016 designed glove.
At 11.25 inches, Wilson’s 1788 is the shortest glove they make. Built for middle infield and particuarly the 2nd baseman, this short pocket glove is built for quick transitions and a super light feel. Throw in the Superskin backing and this is one of the lightest gloves on the planet and, far and away, the lightest one Wilson makes.
A light 11.25 inch glove is so important, and popular, Wilson added a Superskin version of the 1788 in an A2K for 2017. At it’s release it was the only A2K with the superskin backing. It still comes with all the features you’d expect in an A2K like pro-stock select leather and extra padding in the palm. This is the best 2nd baseman’s glove Wilson makes.
The G4 is an 11.5-inch infield glove with a more reinforced web then the 1786. It will likely serve the SS/3B well. The G4 is a 2016 glove and is only produced, currently, in a Superskin version. Expect a smooth feeling and light A2000 Superskin glove with a deeper pocket than most traditaional 11.5-inch infield gloves.
This is the least popular Wilson A2000 in any line that it is made. The reason is that few need a 11.75 inch glove. But, for those that do in a Wilson line, this 1787 Superskin (or its peer in an A2K class) are as good as they come. Expect the same high quality leather and H-web designed for great control and infield use. The Superskin makes it lighter and easier to break in.
Wilson’s outfiled OT6 is a single reinforced post web with a 12.75-inch reach. It is the longest glove Wilson makes. The Superskin version of this glove is a 2016 model. It comes in an A2000 version as well.
The 1799 is the more popular outfield glove for Wilson. It also runs a 12.75-inch legnth but uses a dual post web. As well, the addition of the top bar on the web helps with snow cone catches. The superskin backing on this 1799SS is a great choice for those trying to get as much reach as they possibly can.
This 1617 1st baseman’s patter is only made in a 2017 A2000 Superskin class of gloves. It uses dual horizontal posts for added support on the web. The Superskin backing is a nice touch for 1st baseman who see a lot of action. It runs, like all 1st baseman’s gloves from Wilson, at 12 inches in length
As the most popular pitching glove pattern Wilson makes, the B212 also comes in a Superskin pattern. Pitchers like the full enclosure of the two piece web and the extraordinarily deep pockets. Smooth pro-stock leather on the front with a durable Superskin back hand is a very nice combination.
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