If you are an infielder, or coach infielders, then you should definitely check out some of our favorite infield training gloves.
There are a lot of different options when it comes to training tools but don’t think you can beat these undersized gloves.
The first time I was exposed to these little gems was in college. I was a middle infielder and we used them every single day in practice.
It took a few days to get adjusted to the small pocket and how it fit on my hand but after that I loved the feel. This is why I prefer these undersized gloves as opposed to “traditional” infield trainers. You know the ones I’m talking about, the flat ones that turn your hands into bricks.
I’m not saying that a flat style trainer can’t be helpful. I’ve seen plenty of coaches at all levels use them and a lot of infielders swear by them. Ron Washington uses them all the time and is regarded as one of the best infield coaches in the Major Leagues.
They just aren’t something I really like to use for myself or my players.
What I like about these 9.5 inch infield training gloves
1. Undersized gloves don’t change your fielding motion.
Some of the other designs force you to completely change the way you field the baseball which can actually end up causing huge problems. Their flat design leads to cradling or being very passive in the way you approach the baseball.
When used the right way there are some benefits, but for most people they often just create bad habits.
You should be training yourself to move through the ball not funneling it up into your body. We can talk more mechanics later….
2. You can actually play catch with them.
This is probably one of the biggest advantages in my opinion. Since you can play catch with it you can increase the number of training reps you are getting every single day. The small pocket forces you to be very accurate in catching and controlling the baseball.
3. They reinforce a clean transfer
This is a vital skill for any infielder but especially middle infielders that can be working on double play transfers or relay transfers. In a round of catch you can easily get 75-100 reps. Watch how much better an infielder can get when he does that every single day with focus and purpose.
After testing a few of these I’ve narrowed down the options to my top 3. You can’t go wrong with any of these options, but read below for more info on each glove.
Rawlings GG Gamer Series Training Glove
- 9-1/2-inch adult baseball training glove
- Pro-style design and improved shell leather for better shape retention
- Tennessee Tanning rawhide leather laces add durability and strength
- Single-post web with conventional back ideal for infielders
UPDATE: Rawlings seems to have discontinued the GG Gamer Series trainer and replaced it with a newer model called the R9. You can check it out on Amazon here: Rawlings R9 Series Infield Trainer
This was the first type of training glove I used and have purchased 3-4 more since then. It’s pretty much become one of my everyday gloves whether I’m playing catch or throwing BP.
I don’t have huge hands by any means and wore an 11.5 inch glove when I was playing. It’s obviously small and will take some getting used to but for most infielders the small size shouldn’t prevent the glove from fitting nicely on the hand.
If it’s being used for younger players then it probably won’t be an issue at all. Once you break in the leather a little it has a great fit. Of the 3 gloves this one loosened up the quickest.
Also, because a lot of infielders prefer to wear their normal glove on their fingertips this would be a perfect transition and feel.
The red padding is the Poron XRD Palm Protection. I like that they added this feature since the size of the glove is so much smaller. A lot of catches will probably hit you in the palm area and without the padding you may be looking at a hefty bone bruise.
The XRD does a great job of softening the impact and in fact feels better than most of my normal fielding gloves.
Finally the GG Gamer is made of the quality pro grade leather that has made Rawlings so popular over the years. Many infield trainers are cheap and you will end up having to purchase more every single year. These little gloves are durable and you can put them through years of use without having to replace them.
AllStar 9.5 inch Training Mitt
- 9.5 Inch Training Model
- Pre-Oiled Palm
- Develop Fast Hands
- Improve Coordination for Fielders
All Star is notorious for making some of the best catchers mitts in the game. Oddly enough they aren’t one of the more “popular brands” on the market for infielders.
While most companies manufacture gloves of varying qualities for all positions to reach the mass consumer market, All-Star stays locked in on their strengths. They do offer variety, but they seem to stay focused on what they do best as opposed to trying to reach everyone.
The reason they started producing this infield trainer was because they said they noticed infielders stealing the CM100TM that they make for catchers!
When you put this training glove on your hand you can feel the quality. While the leather can be a little stiff at first in the long run it will outlast a lot of other inferior products.
I love the color scheme. The two tone design with the I web is such a classic look!
Even better, this trainer is priced at or below most of the competition!
Valle Eagle 975S
If you are a real glove aficionado and appreciate good leather as much as I do you definitely want to check out the Valle Eagle 975S.
This more of your premium option but it is oh so sweet!
Constructed from Japanese steer hide leather the feel on the hand is great. If you really want to take it up a notch you can opt for the “premium plus” model of the 975S constructed from Kip leather.
There is added padding in the palm as well as double index pads. This is a great feature if you like to put two fingers in the pinky stall. Your index finger won’t get pulled off the pad as you slide your hand towards the pinky!
Undersized infield training gloves are a great tool. I’ve been using them consistently as a player and coach for the last 15 years.
Players love using them so it is a great way to create some excitement and variety to otherwise boring infield drills. Take a look at any of the 3 gloves above and you won’t be disappointed!
Did we leave a glove off this list that you feel is worth mentioning?
Let us know in the comments below!