The catcher in any baseball team may have a lot in common with a goal-keeper in that balls are flying at them sometimes at full speed. It is important that a catcher is well protected and to be able to move around, therefore, looking at the Best Youth Catcher Gear Sets would be helpful.
Best Youth Catcher Gear Sets 2019 – Our Top Picks
- Best Pick: Wilson EZ Gear Kit
- Best Budget: Easton Youth Black Magic Catcher Box Set
- Best Looking: Louisville Slugger Youth PG Series 5 Catchers Set
- Best Removable Features: Mizuno Boy’s Youth Samurai Box Set Catchers Gear
The position of playing as a catcher can be an important one in the team because that player can be seen as a leader. They are the ones that are able to see all the players on their team and on the other team. They could be able to communicate this information to the pitcher.
It can be a high responsibility role but the challenge could make it fun for the right person. However, playing as a catcher could require a bit of contact since they will have balls flying towards them as well as players charging to get onto the home plate where the catcher should be positioned.
This could be why getting good catcher gear can be important since it should be able to reduce the risk of injury. The catcher gear should usually be made up of four main pieces as well as two additional pieces for extra protection. The four main pieces are the helmet, chest protector, leg guards and mitt.
An additional two items can be the knee savers and throat protectors. However, the mitt seems to be sold separately from the rest of the catcher gears since it requires a different set of considerations.
Catcher gear has to fit the catcher very well as if they are wearing clothes, not too small that the player cannot move and not too big that it gets squeezed when the player bends down into the position to catch the balls.
This can mean that the catcher gear is flexible since it fits the player’s body and that the items of the catcher gear do not move around a lot.
The mitts have to fit the player’s hand and should be given time to mold to fit their hand’s shape while the chest protector should cover the chest as well as the collar bones which can get hit. Plus, the chest protector should also be able to cover the neck and fit like a shirt.
You could figure out what size the player could need by measuring the length of their body from the bottom of the throat to the navel.
The helmet can be the size that the player uses when they wear hats. There are also two types of helmets that the player could choose such as the two-piece helmet and the hockey-style helmet. The two-piece helmet is made up of a batting helmet with padding that goes on the forehead and the jaw.
This type of helmet can be easier to take off but it can offer less protection when compared to the hockey-style helmet. The hockey-style helmet may not be as quick to take off and could lower the periphery vision of the player but it offers more protection against fly or foul balls.
However, it is important to check with the league before you purpose helmets since some of them may only require the hockey-style ones.
The leg guards can be measured from the middle of their knee down to their shin and if you end up between two sizes it may be a good idea to go for the bigger of the two.
What Else To Look For
There can be some question you could ask when looking for a catcher gear such as how lightweight the catcher gear is? Is it adjustable? Does it have good airflow? And is there rebound control?
Lightweight can be seen as being similar to being flexible since less clunky and heavy gear allows for more movement. This could be good if the player needs to step out in order to catch a ball or get another player out. This could also be true in regards to helmets since the player may have to remove it quickly to find the ball if it is missed or to be able to speak to their teammates if a timeout is called.
Adjustable can also be important especially for young players since they will still be growing. This is something to consider in order to keep the gear as long as possible as well as to keep the player comfortable. Some gears can even have removable items to help customize the gear to the player’s need. But, it can be very important to not buy catcher gear that the player can “grow into” because the catcher gear has to fit them completely and the adjustments can help the staying power of the catcher gear.
Airflow can allow for the catcher gear to not get full of sweat and uncomfortable. Plus, it will make it easier to clean. Some catcher gear can come with strategic venting systems to make circulated, cool air within the items so that sweat does not get into the player’s eyes especially while they are wearing a helmet. This would have been a very useful feature for me when I could barely see and did not have time to take off my helmet while a game was going on.
Rebound Control means that the catcher gear has padding that should be able to absorb the energy of a thrown ball so that the ball does not get lost or a base does not get stolen by the other time.
It would be a good suggestion that the catchers do not share their catcher gear with anyone since it should be fitted and molded to their individual bodies. The catcher gear should also be cleaned regularly and sometimes some items may have to be replaced or changes should be made to the catcher gear to make it easier for the player to use. The catcher gear should feel as if it is a part of them.
Best Youth Catcher Gear Sets Reviews
1. Wilson EZ Gear Kit
There are many catcher gears to look at such as the Wilson EZ Gear Kit. This kit comes with a hockey-style helmet which is able to be adjustable and it is a premium grade ABS shell. This means that it should give the player 360 degrees protection from flying balls as well as accidental flying bats.
It could also have a good venting system to allow airflow which could help keep the player cool while playing the game. The kit could be easy to put on and to take off. Plus, it could come with EZ adjustable heavy-duty hook and loop non-tangle straps which could be useful to make it fit the player’s body and could allow for it not to slip off.
The leg guards can come up to 11 inches (27, 94 cm) with a double knee guard. The design of this kit could be based on Wilson’s pro-grade ProMotion Catcher’s Gear which should allow for easy movements. A possible downside to this catcher gear is that the leg guards have Velcro straps that could come off during game play.
2. Louisville Slugger Youth PG Series 5 Catchers Set
Another catcher gear set that you could look at is the Louisville Slugger Youth PG Series 5 Catchers Set which also comes with a hockey-style helmet which is NOCSAE approved as well as having a chin pad which is known to be moisture wicking.
This means that it could be more comfortable for the player since it could not saturate the sweat of the player, therefore, being able to keep them in a comfortable position.
The chest protector can come with an over-the-shoulder harness to help fit the player and it can be made up of high-dense foam padding which can be good for protection and maybe even some rebound control. Plus, it should not ride up while playing the game. The leg guards apparently do not have knee savers on them.
3. Mizuno Boy’s Youth Samurai Box Set Catchers Gear
The Mizuno Boy’s Youth Samurai Box Set Catchers Gear comes with a hockey-style helmet which seems to have a thin layer of moisture wicking on the padding; this could come off with time and it does not seem to have a chin guard.
The chest protection which could offer a lot of protection but the airflow may not be that good and leg guards that can also have shin guards on them. It has clips on the side of it so that it could be slid on and off. It could also have a good rebound control because the ball could drop in front of the player.
Plus, the chest protector may also have a removable groin protector (which could be helpful to make sure it fit the chest area well and does not slide up or get in the way of the player’s legs) and the shoulder pads could be removable as well.
4. Under Armour PTH Victory Catchers Kit
An Under Armour PTH Victory Catchers Kit could be a good addition to the player because it can come with a throat protector as well as a hockey-style helmet. The helmet could be lined with breathable, soft duel-density materials and it could have I-Bar Vision steel cage which could increase protection as well as visibility.
This catcher gear could be a good find for entry or intermediate players or players in the 9 to 12 years old age group. This catcher gear could be made out of high-impact-resistant ABS plastic shell which could be able to allow rebound control by absorbing and deflecting the energy of the balls.
It also could come with AEGIS Microbe Shield which could help reduce the odor of this catcher gear. The chest protector could have added protection with the help of the moldable plastic inserts at the shoulders (although it only has one on the right side), the sternum and the throat. Plus, the leg guard also could have washable and removable knee pads and shin pads.
5. Easton Youth Black Magic Catcher Box Set
The last catcher gear on this list is the Easton Youth Black Magic Catcher Box Set. The hockey-style helmet could be made out of durable ABS shell as well as a durable steel cage.
It should also have a soft vinyl chin pad. The chest protector should be easy to use because of its Velcro closure attachment system and it should have a double back adjustment mechanism. The leg guards should come with a protective PE shin plate as well as being a double knee design.
There should also be a lock-down closure attachment system in the leg guards. The leg guards seem to use rectangular clips for the straps to go through and this may cause them to twist.
It can be a challenge to pick the right catcher gear for the player but with enough time the gear should mold onto the player’s body as if it was clothing. As someone who used to be a goalkeeper (and a catcher could be seen as similar to a goalkeeper), the Wilson EZ Gear Kit sounds like it could be a good fit because the helmet can be adjusted and allows for airflow.
This catcher gear should allow for some movement and the double knee guard can be a desired feature for you are worried about the player’s knees.
The EZ adjustable heavy-duty hook and loop non-tangle straps make it sound as if it can be easy to adjust to the player’s body and although the Velcro straps may be an issue the player could have them replaced with something stronger since the catcher gear should only be for them and them alone.