These days, it’s common to see anglers mixing and matching their favorite mask with different gear. This may be due to new and improved head protection technology that not all models offer. For example, the catcher who wears a Force3 helmet with Nike gear is common and players make decisions to protect their heads without being forced. For example, Nike athlete Will Smith likes the Force3 helmet, so he wears it. Nike does not want Smith to wear the Nike logo on his head, because they recognize that the protection of the human head and brain trumps sales contracts.
Before we look at the figures, what do you wear?
Force3 Masks: Worn by 47% of MLB First Catchers
Force3 has grown in popularity among catchers in recent years and was named the Official Catcher’s Mask Partner of MLB Players, Inc in 2021. Defender Masks giving has helped them get a top spot in the category. National Leaguers Will Smith, Travis d’Arnaud, and Austin Hedges all chose Force3 in 2022.
All-Star Masks: Worn by 30% of MLB First Catchers
The All-Star has been one of the toughest things in the game for years, especially among catchers. Although Force3 reigns supreme at the moment, All-Star catcher’s masks/helmets are the most important in MLB, and with the launch of the MVP5 helmet (worn by Rutschman below), their safest helmet to date, they may come to claim the crown. .
The MVP5’s shock absorption is different from the Force3’s, but it seems to achieve the same goal: protecting the head of the most consistent person on the field. Two of the biggest up-and-coming players in the league, Adley Rutschman and Joey Bart, rocked All-Star caps throughout the season.
Some Masks Worn by MLB Starting Catchers
Rounding out the list were Nike (13%), Rawlings (7%), and EvoShield (3%). In past years, Nike and Rawlings were very popular. In 2022, it seems like most of the pitchers are more concerned with head protection than acceptance and choosing the All-Star and Force3 brand.
Double Face Masks vs Hockey Helmets
What kind of headgear the player chooses to wear in the game is a matter of preference. You can see MLB pitchers wearing two-color masks instead of hockey ones. This remained true in 2022, with 77% wearing two pieces and 23% going with the hockey style.
It’s important to feel comfortable behind the plate, and choosing the right equipment can make all the difference in how an employee performs. The two most popular uniforms in the league, Nike and All-Star, are worn by 73% of all starters, including some of the league’s best players.
Before we get into the good stuff, what chest and leg guards do you wear?
Nike: Worn by 53% of MLB First Catchers
Nike, the marketing juggernaut, has been a major player in the persuasion game for several years. Hunters get a lot of exposure on television and this means they are given expensive contracts to wear armor. Their baseball equipment is one of the most sought after baseball equipment among the non-professional and non-professional community. (By the way, still no word from Nike on hand tools at Dick’s). They lead the way in chest and leg guards group and All-Stars like JT RealmutoWillson Contreras, and Gary Sanchez all Nike sports gear this season.
All-Star: Worn by 20% of MLB First Catchers
Although the All-Star has 33 points under Nike, he remains a strong contender among the armed forces. 2022 Platinum Glover Jose Trevino and Alejandro Kirk both relied on All-Star tools behind the plate in their retirement years.
Some Electronic Equipment Worn by MLB First Catchers
There was a significant decline in the popularity of weapons behind the two top leaders. Rounding out the rest of the list were Easton with 10%, Rawlings and Force3 with 7%, and EvoShield in last place at 3%.
Everywhere you look, you’ll find at least one in the MLB; Rawlings gloves. According to our 2022 WPW Glove Report, Rawlings dominated the majority of all gloves worn by MLB starters (55%). This trend was also true for anglers, but to a greater extent.
Rawlings Gloves: Worn by 70% of MLB First Catchers
In 2022, the anglers were dead even with the high altitude Rawlings gloves used by the titles. A Gold Glovers favorite like Sean Murphy, a two-time winner JT Realmuto, and five-time winner Salvador Perez; Rawlings continued to dominate the glove market not only among players but throughout the league.
All-Star Gloves: Worn by 13% of MLB First Catchers
At 13%, All-Star is the second most popular brand in the group. They continue to make quality gloves that are loved by players like Max Stassi of the Angels and Martin Maldonado of the Astros.
Another glove worn by MLB First Catcher
We’ve only seen a handful of starters using a glove other than Rawlings and All-Star, including Mizuno (worn by Travis d’Arnaud and Jonah Heim), Wilson (worn by Tyler Stephenson), Easton (worn by Austin Hedges), and Force3 (worn by Yasmani Grandal).
Tell us your favorite tools behind the plate!