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WPW at Spring Training: The World Champion San Francisco Giants

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So the one thing I didn’t really plan for when I went down to AZ—split squads.  Lots of guys missing.

I still was able to get some good shots of some gear worth talking about, so this is more of an abbreviated look at what some of the Giants are breaking in for 2015.

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Hector Sanchez with a saucy pair of NB 1500 trainers.

The Giants hauled a Keiser M3 stationary bike over to Hohokam (A’s) Stadium so Matt Cain could get his work in post-start.

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THE MOST REQUESTED PIECE OF GEAR IN WPW HISTORY, the All-Star Lace-On Wrist Guard (on Hector Sanchez’ mitt, and its AVAILABLE FINALLY.

Matt Duffy had a nice custom Wilson G4 (or G5) Superskin glove.

Pennant-Clinching Hero Travis Ishikawa swings the same cut as Mike Trout, the Old Hick J143M.

Juan Perez wore the Kaenon X-Kore sunglasses, which seem to fuse to the face, and a Slugger Pro Flare that we could not find.

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You may have seen Gregor Blanco’s Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO303-6GTM mesh masterpiece on our Instagram.  As far as we know, this is a Gregor Blanco exclusive.

Interestingly, a lot of great outfielders seem to implement the mesh to reduce the weight of the glove.  Even just that extra ounce or two can be the difference between a sno-cone web gem or a 2-run double.

Judging by the embroidery, Casey McGehee must have picked up some Japanese Mizuno leather during his season abroad with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

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The Giants trainers use a fitness tracking software called OmniSense, which reads information from a “BioHarness” around an athlete’s chest and is just really bad-ass:

“The Software was initially designed in partnership with NASA and US Special Operations to give immediate feedback on the health and condition of a human being under stressful situations and has been adapted for including support for training optimization based on feedback from researchers and several professional sports trainers.”

Check out more info on OmniSense here.

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Crawdaddy still rockin’ the Nike MVP Elite 3/4 cleats long after they’ve been discontinued.  He must love ‘em.

Also notice the Louisville Slugger S318 lumber (link to old M9 label, same wood), Lizard Skin Grip, and Nike MVP Elite Pro 2 batting gloves.

First Look at CJ Wilson’s New Balance 3000v2 Customs

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CJ Wilson has been with New Balance since before it was cool (below from 2011), and the Boston company that’s giving Nike a run for their money has returned that loyalty.


 

For 2015, CJ has his own clean gold accented home & away pair of the New Balance 3000v2.  Check them out below.

Thanks to New Balance Baseball for the photography.  Shop the 3000v2 here.

WPW at Spring Training: Kansas City Royals

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The American League Champion Kansas City Royals were short a few guys (Hosmer, Gordon, Guthrie, Cain) but did not lack for “estilo.”

In Kansas City, the Rawlings cup runneth over.

Alcides Escobar’s Rawlings PROPL217JB was most esteemed and Jarrod Dyson’s Mesh might be the one I’d most like to play with, but that Bubba Starling PRO303HC2T in Mocha won the beauty pageant for me.

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Ryan Roberts won the award for “Glove Most Likely to Smell Bad.”  Thing was mangy.

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Your favorite?

Some notables in this gallery:

Evoshield Digi Camo used to its utmost potential.

Dove Tail Bats getting a look from a few teams that I saw while in AZ.  Has a nice menu of pro models on its site at $75-$105 (I looked briefly).

Max Bat with fancy stickers.

Ryan Roberts with some woodland camo Oakleys.

Omar Infante swings an R205 profile Slugger which we traced as far back as Reds greats Barry Larkin and Eric Davis.

On a related note, I wish bat companies would stop letting guys name their own models and stick to the original numbers set forth by the Godfather of Lumber (who was just acquired by Wilson Sporting Goods), Louisville Slugger.  That way WPW can better trace the lineage of bats and in 50 years we can say the AL MVP of 2065 “swings the same bat as the great Mike Trout.”

Speaking of changing the names of bat profiles, we saw our first Louisville Slugger DJ2, the new namesake of the historic P72 profile.  Royals hopeful Ryan Jackson was swinging it.

Omar Infante looked like a football player doing his stutter steps pre-game.

A couple of odds and ends, Hilltopper Clay by Stabilizing Solutions is the choice of Rockies and DBacks grounds crew at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

BatTar Up by Markwort Grip Enhancer

A few sets of custom kicks:

Jarrod Dyson’s Huarache Pro

Terrance Gore’s adidas Power Alley 2

Omar Infante’s New Balance 3000v2

Which would you rock?

Big Papi’s 2015 New Balance 4040v2 Cleats (Beauty Shots)

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Big Papi made the switch, like a lot of Red Sox, to New Balance last season. We noted it in Ortiz’ profile, and now we have the beauty shots of his fully custom 4040v2 cleats.  Above you can see both, with some Dominican flavor, including the “809” area code and the Dominican Republic coat of arms on the tongue.

These are two very handsome shoes.  Notice that they both have MCS, or plastic, cleats as opposed to metal.  This is still a question we get asked a lot, and we did a full breakdown on why many Big Leaguers wear plastic here.  For Ortiz, being a full-time DH, if he feels fine in the box with plastics there’s really no need to go metal.

Ortiz kept this pair pretty classy with only subtle red accents for color.  Which do you prefer?  Are you more flashy or classy?  Shop the 4040v2s here and many thanks to New Balance Baseball for providing some great looks.

Show It Off: #12 Florida State Seminoles, 2015

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Florida State is back with some new gear courtesy of Nike and Louisville Slugger.

We featured the Seminoles back in 2013 (check it out), and there are some updates but still the same Garnet and Gold fire we’re accustomed to seeing from one of the top ballplayin’ schools in the land.

Take a look at some of the equipment the Seminoles will be using for the 2015 season, and thanks to @FSUBaseballEquipment for the looks, and for getting the players to model the jerseys!  Follow for more.

Product Links

Hats

Nike On-Field Fitted Hat

Catcher’s Gear

Louisville Slugger Series 7

Batting gloves

Nike Diamond Elite Pro II

Bats

Omaha 515

Omaha 715

Leather

Louisville Slugger Pro Flare Trap 13″

Louisville Slugger FL1176 Pro Flare 11.75″

Louisville Slugger Pro Flare 12.75″

Spikes

Nike Air MVP Pro Metal 2

Decals

Pro Helmet Decals

Thanks again to the guys at FSU Baseball for putting this together for us.

WPW at Spring Training: Oakland Athletics

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WPW’s Cactus League tour continues, this time with the Oakland Athletics.

Coco Crisp told us his Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO-TB is headed into its 9th season.  I posed this question on Instagram: considering the amount of ridiculous diving, crashing, leaping catches Crisp has made in the last 8 seasons, can you think of a more distinguished piece of leather in the game?

A few consummate Oakland Grinders in this gallery.  Eric Sogard told us he mixes a few companies in, but in the two games we watched, he only swung the Phoenix ES10A model bat pictured.  Sogard also wore the Cutters Power Control batting gloves, jackin’ Will Ferrell‘s style.  We also saw him in the 4040v2 turfs along with too many other A’s to count.

Sam Fuld wears a Rawlings PRO303-6JB with green script, and took his BP cuts with a Marucci custom cut.

Swiss Army Knife Ben Zobrist’s told us that the glove he was wearing, a Rawlings Pro Preferred PRO200-2KBR, will be his gamer this year.  He was wearing the New Balance 2000s, a plastic version of the 3000.

Sean Doolittle’s Rawlings Two Piece came out of the box looking dirty with dark brown leather, but it looked purdy in the sun.

Sonny Gray looks like he’ll stick with the Nike Two Piece we’ve seen him wear in season past, while Spring Training hopeful Brock Huntzinger had my favorite glove for the A’s, a light tan Rawlings Pro Preferred Modified Trap with green in all the right places.

Billy Butler has been getting plenty of work in at first base, and we noticed his gamer was a black Mizuno, but he is breaking in the green Pro Limited GZP 32.  After that is a shot of Butler’s Mizuno model bat, the AD67, which is normally not something we see—usually the closest we can get is the trademark, on which Mizuno’s never go into detail.

The last glove pictured is Rickey Henderson’s Rawlings PROMB, a gift from former A David DeJesus.  Rickey talks about it in my brief and interrupted interview below:

Brett Lawrie’s Nike Vapor Pro cleats have a colorway exclusive to Lawrie.  He was swinging a Tucci BL-420 bat and said he expects that to be his gamer this year.  Lawrie’s Mizuno glove is barely recognizable, looking like he bathes it in baby oil each night, but it looks like he’s working in a new black one with the inscription BL13 on the ring finger.

Turd Ferguson (Josh Reddick) did not dress for the game.

Coco Crisp’s Slugger M301S is not a model we’re familiar with but it looks like its available at that link.

Billy Burns, a burner who stole 54 bases in the minors last year, was rocking the adidas EQT batting gloves and some pretty looking Energy Boost Icon cleats.

Finally, 3B coach and former infielder Mike Gallego leaning on an SSK PS-100 fungo with the Lizard Skin grip.

WPW doesn’t just stop at the gloves and bats.  What about the resistance bands?  The lawn mowers?  The tarp?  OK, didn’t get the tarp, but…

Perform Better Resistance Bands

TYRUS Pine Tar Rag

John Deere 2653B PrecisionCut

Cramer Tuf-Skin Spray

Varo Arc Bat Weight

After that, some gorgeous leather from All-Star and Rawlings for non-roster invite Bruce Maxwell, a Brett Fungo w/ an old Kurt Suzuki Wilson piece, Peter Gammons giving those NB’s a beat down, Rickey in the Nike Frees, and former A’s catcher and All Star Ray Fosse had some encouraging words for A’s new backstop Josh Phegley.

WPW at Spring Training: Colorado Rockies (CARGO Gave WPW the Grand Tour)

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So yesterday was Will Ferrell, today was actual baseball, and it was another very good day for WPW.  Carlos Gonzalez, who has been following WPW for two seasons, recognized my hat and graciously took me into the clubhouse to get a look at some of his gear.

There is so much content here that I’m not going to have time to link to it all.  Just enjoy the best day in WPW history…

Cargo told me he’s a fan of the all-synthetic Nike Vapor 360 because its easy to break-in and light.  He’ll be using one of the two pictured (pink or white).  If you can rock a pink glove, that’s just a whole other level.  (Cargo’s models are available at the link)

Which do you think Cargo should use?

I asked Cargo about his bats, too, having seen him swing a few different companies but mostly Sam Bat in games.  So why does he keep coming back to the Sam Bat CG5 Maple?  “I got a batting title with that bat.”  “Nuff said.

Also got good looks of his Nike Vapor Elite Pro batting gloves, available in select colors.

Then Brandon Barnes walked up behind me and said “Oh, WhatProsWear!” and proceeded to tell Corey Dickerson to follow us on Instagram.  I was basically living out a baseball gear fantasy.  Barnes was equally as gracious as Cargo (even though I blew the WPW pic) and showed off some of his new swag, too:

Barnes told me he’s usually a Chandler guy but has been swinging Old Hickory recently, the Matt Holliday model you see in the gallery.

The Rockies Nike glove game is absolutely off the meter and Barnes’ purple SHA DO Elite J might be my favorite of all.  Here’s a few others from Corey Dickerson and Drew Stubbs:

Now I’m having second thoughts about Barnes’ being my favorite.  Stubbs SHA DO Elite J H-Web is so so so so tight.  Love that little design element on the ring finger and the Longhorn (Hook ‘em) logo on the palm.

Corey Dickerson wore the MVP Select in game but told me he’s got a new gamer coming this week.  He likes the hybrid synthetic/leather, Barnes and Stubbs go full leather, and Cargo’s Vapor 360 is completely synthetic.

How about a Rawlings to throw in the mix, courtesy of Charlie Blackmon.

The first one, the PROS17ICBR, looks like Blackmon’s future gamer, while the PRO303-6KBT is his current gamer.  Looks well broken in.

If you could wear any of the Rockies OFers gloves, which would it be?

Oh yeah, Tulo was there, too.

Still swinging the TL-271 from Tucci.  His MVP Pro 2 cleats were plastics as we’ve seen him wear in the past.  We also got a really nice look at the BGs that I love so much, an old Nike version, the Diamond Elite Pro.  Also check out that tape job.  Looks like paper mache, not sure the agent he’s using.

EVERYBODY in the Rockies infield straps on the Gargoyle Gamers.

Some more niche WPW items, the Schutt DIRX warm-up bat, Tyrus stick, Pro Helmet Decals (bat knobs), and the EAS Lean 15 bars.

A few close-ups of the rest of the Rockies infield gamers, including Daniel Descalso’s I-Web, Nolan Arenado’s Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRO12-6TI, DJ Lemahieu’s H-Web, and Morneau’s Wilson A2000 2800.

And finally, a few other items from the Rockies top guys:

A lot of Old Hick out there, including Nolan Arenado’s J154 Maple that he had signed by his locker.  The stud 3B had some camo NIKEiD Huaraches that I’m sure we’ll see much more of this year.  Morneau swinging birch wood from BWP, and staying classy with the Franklin Pro Classics.  Corey Dickerson likes the Nike MVP Elite Pro 2 BG’s.  That guy can swing it.

Also notice Charlie Blackmon’s Evoshield City Leg Guard.

Stay tuned for more spring stuff.  Still got a few more teams and really encouraged by what we got so far.