Even at the youth level of play, catchers have a full workload of responsibilities, arguably more than any other position player sharing the field.
Thus, it stands to reason that they need the best youth catcher’s mitt possible, in order to handle this position.
How we choose our products
We do our best to balance between personal experience and what the rest of the world says.
We start with working with local coaches and players to see their experience. There are local Little League, Travel, and high school teams that we’ve developed a relationship with.
Because of that, we’re able to get some insight on what equipment is working well. That also means that we can get our hands on equipment.
Anyone who writes these articles does some online research. We follow that theory and check customer reviews, group discussion forums, and youtube videos from the experts. So, we take our personal opinions and do some research to see what the rest of the world thinks.
We’d hate to push you into buying a dud. But we’d also hate to prevent you from buying something that we had a bad experience with.
By checking in with other customers, we can be sure that we’re giving you the best advice when we look at each type of equipment.
These are the best youth catcher’s mitts for 2022:
- Mizuno GXC105
- Akadema AGC 98
- Wilson A2000
- Rawlings Encore
- Wilson A500
- Rawlings Heart of the Hide
- Under Armour UACM-200Y
Mizuno Prospect GXC105
The Mizuno GXC105 is our favorite mitt on the market. It was built with the player in mind. Most young catchers struggle to adjust to catching pitches with a mitt because they’ve been using a regular fielding glove since they started playing. The GXC105 was built to clothes better and make it easier to catch and hold on to the ball.
Its PowerClose technology will help young players who are learning to handle “kid pitch”. It provides a large pocket that should make it easier to catch the ball. There’s also a ParaShock palm pad that helps to spread the impact of the ball. This reduces the sting of velocity, even for new catchers.
If this mitt can fit your hand, it will be an outstanding model for you. After all, how many manufacturers make a mitt or glove that actually does some of the work for you? With the PowerClose technology, that’s exactly what you’re getting.
What really pushes the GXC105 up the list is its pricing. At about $70 this mitt is a flat out steal. It ranks among the best youth catcher’s mitts on the market, but finding that quality at this price point is unheard of.
We aren’t convinced that this glove can handle multiple seasons. However, at a $70 price point, we’re willing to take that risk. You could buy a new GCX105 every year for 5 years before reaching the price of something like the Heart of the Hide.
The one downfall that we did find is that it takes some time to break this mitt in. In the end, we believe this mitt is the best value on the market. Because of that, we’re willing to overlook its shortcomings.
Akadema Prodigy AGC 98
The Akadema AGC98 is unmatched in quality. It’s made from high-end leather to ensure the highest level of durability. The crasp-clasp wrist lining allow for a good fit among most players.
This mitt was built with double-sided padding that provides outstanding shock-absorption. It’s an outstanding option for older players. This glove is the best option for players that are 12-14 years old. We realize that 14 years old pushes the limits of the term youth. The shock-absorption means that it can handle high-end velocities without much issue.
This mitt also features a “praying mantis” style design which creates a larger pocket that helps to spread the impact of a fastball around. In simple terms, it makes catching just a bit easier on the hands. You’ll find that this can stand up to multiple seasons without any issue.
The biggest issue that we’ve found with the AGC 98 is that it is a bit larger than the other mitts that we’ve reviewed. So, we want to really hammer this point home – it’s the mitt for players 12-14 years old or even older. If you’re in the market for a mitt for a 10 year old, this isn’t the mitt for you.
Ultimately, we believe the Akadema is a piece of art. We absolutely love it on all points. We wish it would break in a bit easier, but we can’t really complain if that’s the only issue. This mitt is about $150 and should last you for years. So, it’s an outstanding investment.
The Wilson A2000 is the best lightweight catcher’s mitt you’ll find. It’s a mix of stock leather and scientifically engineered SuperSkin. It’s designed to make it a lighter model without losing the natural feel. There’s a special model known as “The Pedroia Fit” that is designed for players with smaller hands.
The leather/SuperSkin combination ensures that the glove won’t break down. It also features a special lining called a Dri-Lex wrist lining that is designed to reduce sweating and help to keep your wrist and hands cool, even on those hot summer days.
The mitt has flat finger binding that improves finger protection. You’ll also find that it features a half-moon web which allows the mitt to adjust and move to pitches anywhere in (or out of) the zone.
Ultimately, this is a great catchers mitt for players that are 6-8 years old. It can stand up to higher velocities, but we think some of the other options are better. This mitt does take some time to break in.
Some players and coaches have told us that it runs small, so if you have any concerns with sizing, you should test the mitt out before making any purchases. It’s not the ideal option for someone buying online.
The Rawlings Encore is the best catcher’s mitt for 9-12 year olds. It offers a bit of extra padding. That’s great for the players that are catching higher velocities than they’re used to.
Specifically, the Encore is built with extra palm padding and padded finger liners. It’s great for handling fastballs. The Encore also features a deeper pocket with a one-piece, closed web. This is something that increases durability and performance.
What we find really impressive is that the Rawlings Encore has a minimal break in time. Rawlings claims that they’ve already done 65% of the work for you. Knowing the time and effort involved in getting a glove ready for the field, cutting the break-in time is a huge bonus.
Off the field, the Encore is winning because of its appearance and price tag. Considering the quality, the Encore is reasonably priced. We also love the look of the black and silver. It has white stitching which only adds to the look.
The Wilson A500 is one of the most affordable catcher’s mitts on the market. It’s designed with younger players in mind. Because of that, we believe this is the mitt for 8-10 year olds. We love the glove as a whole, but it doesn’t have the padding that you’d like to see when players start to increase their velocity.
The glove features a leather shell that will provide great durability. It also has a deep pocket that is great for young catchers who are still trying to learn their craft.
The opening for a player to place his hand is also smaller than some of the competition. Because of that, we really believe this is designed for younger players. Wilson seems to understand that, so they made it a bit more affordable.
Players say that this glove is comfortable on their hand. We’ve also heard that it’s much lighter than some of its competition. That makes it a great mitt for a player still learning the ropes.
Overall, we’d love the A500 as a value model. It will perform and hold up to everyday games without any issues. It’s a steal at $130.
Rawlings Heart of the Hide
The Rawlings Heart of the Hide catcher’s mitt offers great quality and durability, but does come with a bit of a price tag. Brand new, you’ll find the glove is around $300. However, it’s a high-quality model that pays tribute to the traditional catcher’s mitt.
This is one of the best catcher’s mitts for 8-10 year olds. Rawlings boasts that it’s about 15% lighter than most of the competition. In our experience at the local fields, it definitely seems to hold true.
The glove is also already partially broken in. Much like the Encore, most of the work is already done for you in that department. The Heard of the Hide features a padded thumb sleeve that provides additional support and protection on especially hard pitches.
One negative we’ve heard from a few players is that the glove can get a bit loose or floppy after use. In our experience, the glove is still usable in the long-term, but it does degrade a bit. Comparing it to the other mitts on this list, we wouldn’t rank it highly if you’re looking for something to use year after year.
The Heart of the Hide is an incredible series that stands out among catcher’s mitts. It doesn’t quit reach the top of our list, but is a great catcher’s mitt for kids pitch baseball. It falls down our list because we can’t give it a multi-year “stamp of approval” and it comes at a much higher price than some of the other options on this list.
Under Armour Deception UACM-200Y
Under Armour is another great brand that is generally safe to trust. They have a variety of catcher’s mitts, but the 200Y is our favorite model. It’s a lightweight mid that is perfect for younger players.
Under Armour didn’t sacrifice any safety features though. One of the key features that keeps the mitt lightweight are having a perforated, synthetic backing. The perforation also adds to air flow so that the mitt feels a bit cooler.
They maintained a thick heel and toe pad to protect a catcher’s fingers while receiving the pitch. They’ve also added PTH padding to the center of the mitt that absorbs most of the impact. That padding should help maintain the durability for an extended period of time. That will extended the life of the mitt.
The fact that this mitt is so light weight and reasonably priced makes it an outstanding option for anyone new to catching. You can consistently find this glove for under $200.
The UACM-200Y isn’t going to set the world on fire, but Under Armour made sure to check off all of the boxes and produce a high quality mitt that anyone should be happy to own.
There you have it, our list of the best youth catcher’s mitts for 2022. No matter what type of player, budget or time constraints you have, there is a perfect youth catcher’s mitt out there for you and the advice in this guide will help you find it.