What’s up everybody, just wanted to say sorry for the lack of pro content over the last few days. A big opportunity is knocking for WPW and it will be a win-win for EVERYBODY, that includes you, but I have been 100% focused up on it and will be until Thursday. Brian and Jake have been doing a great job keeping it fresh, but just wanted to let you guys know.
Check out the gear of MLB’s newest super-prospect here.
Red Sox just got swaggier (and now no one can use the word swag anymore because that officially killed it forever…my bad).
Quick FYI, Evoshield let us know that they’ll be re-loading on the sold-out EvoScopes sunglasses that we discussed a couple weeks ago. They’ll be available tomorrow, August 1st (around noon eastern) at $99.99. Get them here.
Bryce’s locker has been refreshed for the second half. Check out the updates here.
The 2014 Area Code Games, an elite high school tournament which boasts 11 number one overall picks in its 28-year existence, start in a week. This is an MLB scout-driven exhibition of the best young talent in the country, and MLB scouts have a pretty good eye for that kind of thing. Little names like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, Jacoby Ellsbury, Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, Dustin Pedroia, David Wright, Giancarlo Stanton, CC Sabathia and Troy Tulowitzki all played in the Area Code Games before launching into super stardom.
New Balance has the honors to outfit all eight squads this year, all of which are hand-picked by scouts from a specific MLB team.
Below you’ll see each tourney team’s uni, the White Sox, A’s, Reds, Brewers, Yankees, Nationals, Royals, and Rangers…
…which are just excruciatingly fresh. The detailing on the pants is making me jealous. I want.
For those not lucky enough to be invited, lets at least pretend. Which scheme would you want to rock in front of a bevy of scouts from all 30 MLB teams and just about any college that matters?
That is the absolute definition of “Hanleywood” right there.
Whether you love it or hate it, Giants need a W tonight to avoid getting steamrolled by, in my view, the best team on paper in baseball. You’re crazy if you don’t shudder looking at that 3-man rotation of Kershaw, Greinke, and Ryu. And then as a pitcher you’re staring down a 2-3-4 of Puig-Gonzalez-Hanley that, if Dee Gordon finds a way on base, you’re living my nightmare.
We all know his history, so Hanley’s looking to reduce the pounding on his joints over the stretch run by mixing in a TPU (plastic) 4040v2 from New Balance, who is now at a point where they’ve got the best palette in baseball and they’re having fun with it. These cleats look good in every color. This one looks like its got a reptilian treatment to compliment Hanley’s overall opulence.
Hanley had a brief stint with Carl Crawford’s Jordan 12s early in the season, but he’s come right back to his NB “Hanleywood” cleats that he’d been in since last year. These are obviously player exclusive, but there is plenty to choose from with the 4040v2. Shop them here.
See Hanley’s full WPW profile here.
After two-and-a-half seasons of WPW snubs, Houston is on the map. Here’s your two-time All Star and proof that its not the size of the dog in the fight that matters. Check his gear here.
Altuve is proof that in baseball, size really doesn’t matter. The 5’6″ Venezuelan flash is leading the AL in AVG, SB, and hits at the time of this writing and just bagged his 2nd All Star appearance in 3 full seasons. Baseball is the only sport where you can line up 9 Jose Altuve’s against 9 LeBron James’ and still have no clue who will win. For that, and for Jose Altuve, us sub-6-footers are thankful.
Nike Lunar Vapor Trout Spectrum in Orange/Volt (All Star Game)
Altuve is a player that relies on stealth, and his gear reflects that. He keeps an understated grey/black look throughout his gear, including the Air Huarache Pro Low you see below. These are available at the link above.
In the All Star Game, however, Altuve indulged and went with the head-turners, the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout Spectrum in orange, available at the link above.
Tucci TL-238 Maple 33/31
As you can see in the feature, Altuve handles a Tucci TL-238 Maple. This cut is not available, but you can shop Tucci’s available pro lumber here.
Nike MVP Elite Pro in Various Astros Colors
Nike Vapor Elite Pro (All Star Game)
Altuve has mixed in just about any colorway of the MVP Elite Pro that would possibly work for the Astros awesome color palette. Unfortunately, none of them that we’ve seen are available.
In the All Star Game, Altuve went with a little more flair than we’re used to seeing from him with the Vapor Elite Pro batting gloves you see below, which are available in a few colorways. Volt fans, eat your heart out.
Jose showed this beauty off on his Instagram on Opening Day, along with some Nike batting gloves and a TL-S318 Maple. (He hasn’t been swinging this lately.) GOOD NEWS: Altuve’s Wilson glove is the 2015 Pro Stock version, which is available on order at the link above.
We’ve seen Altuve wear a few different versions, including the all-white Radar Path below, as well as the Fast Jacket further down.
The Fast Jacket:
The future of baseball in the Lone Star State. Check Springer’s stuff out here.
Last year WPW made some noise after posting this article, disputing the truth of Louisville Slugger’s claim that they were the #1 bat at the 2013 All Star Game. After researching it we concluded that Louisville was not, in fact, #1, but it was Marucci, swung by 12 players to Louisville’s 11. The upset came with a bit of controversy though, as a reader pointed out that Edwin Encarnacion swung Louisville that night. Being that we pay attention to this type of thing, I knew that was atypical for Encarnacion, who had been swinging Marucci exclusively going back several seasons, and continues to do so to this day. So why would a loyal Marucci guy randomly pick up a Slugger in the All Star Game?
I am speculating, but it probably won’t surprise you that companies sometimes offer bonuses (often charitable) so players will use their equipment in an exhibition like the ASG. In this instance, Edwin took the bait. In WPW’s eyes, even though Edwin swung Louisville that night, he’s a Marucci guy and has been for a long time, so I awarded Marucci the swing vote. (Note: I understand Louisville might not have been the only one to give bonuses, but their bonuses were probably the biggest, being that they’re the most established company in the sport and were enough to lure Encarnacion who hadn’t swung anything but Marucci for multiple seasons before.)
After that article, I got a call from USA Today’s Ray Glier, who was intrigued by the “upset” and wanted to check my numbers. He wanted to write a story about it. I told him my numbers, and by the time it went to print, Ray told me that he found out Edwin went to bat with Louisville, so my numbers were inaccurate and had to be removed from the story.
We’re back, 365 days later, and we’ve got another count for you. This time, there is no controversy. It was a landslide, and a historic one at that.
Here’s a breakdown of every guy to the finest detail, his brand and model, along with measurements where possible (and links to buy where available). I watched every AB, scoured Getty Images, did whatever I had to do to leave no doubt.
2014 ASG Starters Bat Choices
Marucci AM22 Maple
1st and 2nd AB: Old Hickory YP66 Maple
3rd AB: Chandler YP66 Maple
Tucci TL-271 34/31.5 Maple
Marucci G27 34/32 Maple
B45 B318 Yellow Birch
Victus CG27 Birch 33.5/30.5 (Based of C360)
Marucci RC’09 Maple
1st AB: Marucci AP5 Maple
2nd AB: Louisville Slugger I13L
Louisville Slugger AJ10 Ash
Marucci JD20 Maple
Old Hickory CB19 34 inch
Max Bat HP9 Maple 34.5/32.5
Louisville Slugger S318 Maple 34 inch, varying weight
Marucci Rizz44 Ash
Marucci SH7 Maple
Marucci DM39 Maple
Marucci CG5 Maple
Tucci TL-238 Maple
Chandler DTM7C Maple 34/32-32.5
Victus KS15 Ash 34/31.5
Marucci AB29 Maple 34/32
Marucci CS41 Maple
Louisville Slugger S329 Maple
2014 ASG Totals
(1/2 points awarded for guys who swung two brands)
Marucci – 17.5
Louisville Slugger – 6.5
Old Hickory – 3.5
Chandler – 2.5
Tucci – 2
Sam Bat – 2
Victus – 2
Zinger – 1
MaxBat - 1
B45 - 1
There you have it. Marucci left no doubt this year, with 11 more bats than their rival, Louisville Slugger, and 45% of the entire field. A decisive victory and one that has been years in the making.
As you can see in the chart above, we looked back to the 2012 All Star Game to see if we could spot any trends, and now that the 2014 results are in, we’ve got a pretty telling story. Since the first All Star Game in 1933 (and for at least a decade before that), Louisville Slugger has been the choice among baseball royalty, and until these last three seasons, it was never even close.
To put that 90+ year run in context with other top sports brands, look at Nike, who seems to have been running the basketball shoe market for an eternity, but in reality it hasn’t even been 30 years. Or a company like Titleist, whose name seems as much a part of golf as fairways and sand traps, who became the top ball at the US Open for the first time in 1949, 65 years ago.
Its Louisville’s unparalleled dynastic success that makes Marucci’s rise so remarkable.
The underdog story began when Cardinals’ Eduardo Perez lined out to SS on June 25, 2003. Just eleven years later, 45% of the game’s elite players are converted. Whether you’re a Louisville, Marucci, Old Hick, or a Chandler guy, its obvious that this is a pivotal moment for the pro wood bat industry.
Will Marucci, now the top dog, be able to fight off Louisville with a target on their backs?
Will Louisville be able to get back up off the mat and take back what is theirs?
Is this the beginning of a tug-of-war between the two lumber kings? Or is there another underdog coming for the top spot?
Sometimes its notable, what they AREN’T wearing. Here’s Mike Trout (profile), deferring to his everyday usuals, the Nike MVP Elite Pro batting gloves, leaving the Vapor Elite Pro, being worn by guys like Adam Jones above, in the gift box.
A weird thing happened when Charlie Blackmon’s Vapors passed between the camera and the green screen behind home plate used for advertising. It made the gloves disappear!
They look like this:
But you can see Blackmon’s partially disappearing here:
Shop the Vapor Elite Pro here.
Shock Doctor was kind enough to not only read our last post, but respond and let us know what Puig’s sleeve is (below):
Sounds like it might be heading for retail but not just yet.
I tried to get some better shots of these, but @evoshield posted a partial shot of the Evoshield elbow guards, which feature the 3-letter acronym for each guy’s individual team:
Doesn’t look like you can get these, but you can shop the Evoshield MLB Authentic Collection here.
Franklin’s Digi Camo debut has been incredibly successful, with Lucroy peppering a pair of doubles off the right and left field walls off Jon Lester and Chris Sale (NBD). As we mentioned yesterday, these are available online, but LIMITED TO 3. In fact, they might already be gone.
Sounds like Cutch wore the Nike Vapor 360 glove in warm-ups but not in the game? If anybody knows different let me know.
Great game. We’ll miss ya Jeets.
Dee Gordon flew around the bases with Under Armour swag, including the Deception cleats on the right and the crazy BG’s which I’m assuming are related to a super hero… Iron Man? That’s my guess.
Utley still has one of the best left-handed swings I’ve ever seen. Dude’s wrists are like King Cobras. (Also, Salvador Perez’ All Star gear is OFF THE CHARTS. Powder blue all day.)
Jose Bautista’s Marucci Elite 2015 Batting Gloves which will be available in August:
Thanks to @MarucciSports for sending those through.
Yasiel Puig seen wearing what Shock Doctor claims is their sleeve, though I couldn’t find anything on it. Let me know if you know something I don’t.
Jeets made a heck of a play, then doubles as a classy Minnesotan chants, “OVERRATED!” Honestly, that could not have been sweeter.
If you missed this, watch it:
Above and below, get a look at those Lux All Star specials. Also notice the hats, which are mostly terrible.
Trout just stinging baseballs in fish cleats.
And a closer look:
Cano rocking the Recon Northwest MVP Elite 3/4s we showed you yesterday:
Both images courtesy of the artists, @ReconBeatLab.
He’s also rocking the Wilson that we all fell in love with earlier this season:
Devin Mesoraco and Wainwright wore the Mizuno customs for tonight:
From Mizuno’s twitter:
These are the Swagger 2, which we hear are due for an October release. Mizuno also threw in a tiger-ish patterned batting glove, which you might see on guys like Victor Martinez and Jose Abreu along with Mesoraco, which they should probably run with.
Stay tuned. Still cookin’.
Sneaker Bar Detroit showed off Jeter’s Jordan All Star cleat, modeled off the current Jordan Jeter Lux, but with an epic new look that celebrates Jeter’s All Star appearances. Check out Sneaker Bar Detroit for many more images. Check out Jeter’s entire profile here.
Nike is going off this All Star break, first with a flood of new colors for the Lunar Vapor Trout, and now with something we’ve seen pop up in the last year or so, finally revealed in full. The Nike Vapor 360 outfielders glove, a synthetic glove that incorporates Nike’s shoe technologies like Hyperfuse and Flywire, will be available FOR THE HOLIDAYS. This is the glove that we saw Cargo first wearing last season (and still is) with some notable tweaks.
The most obvious tweak, if you check out Cargo’s (profile) and Springer’s (which he received earlier this season), is the colors. Yes, more Volt. A lot of Volt. Detectable from space Volt.
What I also noticed, though, are some performance-based alterations that we should take a look at.
Notice in Springer’s photo of the outside of the glove (and even in the computer rendering in the gallery above) that the base of the web is strung up with what looks like shoe-string, an element that, when we first posted, you all didn’t like very much. In its place, Nike has reinforced the most important part of the web with actual leather lacing, as you can see in the gallery above.
Another change that brings this seemingly extraterrestrial outfielder’s glove a little bit closer to Earthly conventions is the leather palm that now incorporates more selective perforations, which Nike contends makes the glove ready right out of the box. They call it “Zero Break-In Technology.”
From Nike Baseball’s Senior Designer, Matthew Hudson:
”We’ve taken a traditional leather for the palm and perforated it to remove some of the structure so it forms more quickly. Therefore, the glove is ready to use straight out of the box.”
Just by the looks of it, I would say that the palm of Springer’s Vapor 360 prototype was completely leather-less. That palm looks man-made to me, so Nike might have gotten some feedback that directed them away from synthetics where the ball was making contact with the glove. Maybe it was too slick and the ball was tougher to secure? Maybe it broke down from the everyday beating? Either way, I think its a good move, because by perforating ACTUAL leather, they’ve managed to stick with the key inspirations behind the new technology, to make the glove lighter and easier to break in, but without sacrificing performance.
According to Cargo:
“My first impression was ‘wow, this is different.’ Once I put it on and played catch in camp, everything clicked. This is what I was looking for. I wear this glove and I feel like I can catch any ball.”
My first impression? I want to try it, but I don’t want anything to do with that color. If Cargo wears it, there’s no reason an outfielder shouldn’t at least be aware that it is capable of meeting the highest standards of play. Some questions I have though:
- How much would it hurt to catch a fast-moving ball in the palm?
- Is the shoelace/synthetic web too flimsy? Not necessarily to catch the ball, but to form a good strong pocket so when you want to get it out of the glove its not sitting up in the top of that V-shaped web, or worse, squirting out.
Bottom line is, I’m intrigued. I think if there was a position that this would work for, its the outfield, where speed is much more important. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on it as well in the comments below.
Mike Trout (profile) just dropped this little treat on Instagram, a Rainbow Trout-inspired Lunar Vapor Trout by Nike. THESE ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE. It is literally called the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout Trout! This is not only very creative, and in my opinion awesome (especially because its available), but this is straight-up camera bait (fish pun not intended). Tune in for your closeup tonight on Fox.
Buy This Shoe
Fish cleats so hot right now. What are your thoughts on this one?
The arctic Minneapolis elements are trying to stifle us (and the participants) but here’s a few quick hits as the Derby continues.
Jose Bautista’s Marucci Elite 2015 batting gloves, which we just saw him swinging in that show he put on. These should be available in August.
Recon Northwest sent these customs through, Nike MVP Elite 3/4 turfs detailed for Robbie Cano in pregame. If anybody has any images of him wearing these, tweet us @whatproswear and let us know. Same goes for the cleats below.
Adidas sent through their own take on the All Star Game, these Energy Boost Icon cleats made for Chase Utley and Dellin Betances. I do like the shoe, not necessarily the colors, but I could definitely do without the nauseating background.
CJ Wilson’s got cleat envy.
Dozier wore the above Deception hybrid cleats and the first we’ve ever seen, Captain America batting gloves, for the Derby. No idea the story on those. Under Armour doesn’t return my messages.
More to come.
Franklin sent through the Derby/All Star exclusives for their guys lucky enough to be elected to the game. Even luckier, they whispered in our ear that, aside from the Red/White/Blue ASG gloves already available, 3 versions of EACH player’s batting gloves (in the actual player’s size) ARE AVAILABLE NOW. Again, only 3 PAIRS OF EACH will be sold on FranklinSports.com. A couple of notables on this list:
- Chase Utley’s Pro Classics above, which might just be the sexiest glove in baseball
- Lucroy’s blue/digi-camo Pro Classic, a first from Franklin
For my money you can’t beat Utley’s whites, but which are your favorite? And with 3 of each available (in the actual player’s size), why not get the real thing?
There’s hardly been advancement in bat weights – until Varo Baseball came along. Varo is taking baseball by storm, used by your favorite MLB players down to Little League future sluggers. Varo is a true revolution in on-deck swings and off-field training.
So, what’s so special about the VARO WEIGHT? First, Varo’s advanced weight distribution technology, which disperses weight to the end of the bat. By doing so, Varo creates game-like swings that improves a player’s mechanics and strengthens baseball muscles. Weight placed at the end also provides barrel ‘feel’ through the zone, encouraging an inside path to the baseball.
Say goodbye to your average donut.
You know the bat’s sweet spot is a batter’s best friend. Varo wants to keep it that way. That’s why after an at bat, its time to throw back on the Varo and protect the sweet spot of your bat. The durable, dual-layer composition provides exceptional bat protection, extending the life of your bat – from inside dugouts to minivans. Its more than just a bat weight.
Honoring America’s great game, Varo Baseball is proudly based in the USA. The Varo weight was designed and is manufactured in Southern California. Plus, being American-made, you can feel the quality the moment you pick it up.
With models from youth to pro to softball, there’s a perfect Varo for everyone. Varo is so confident you’ll love your swing, they offer a “perfect swing guarantee.” If you’re not happy, there’s a no-questions-asked 30 day free return policy.
So grab your Varo today and get 10% off your purchase at www.varobaseball.com with discount code “WhatProsWear”.
You can win prizes all summer long as well by joining the Varo family. Follow Varo Baseball (@VaroBaseball on Instagram and Twitter) and like them on Facebook. (Hint: they’ve got a pretty good giveaway going on as we speak.)
Every ballplayer’s dream is to make it to the Show. That’s the pinnacle of it all, right? You make it to the Show, what could be better?
Its days like these when we realize it might be worth the extra hacks off the basement tee to shoot for the All Star Game. The royal treatment that these guys are getting is simply unprecedented. Not only do many of them walk away with some Monopoly money (below), but it has become a “Procession of Gifts” for the manufacturers. This post is the first of a few tonight that’ll show you exactly what I mean.
The superstar treatment not only rewards the best players in baseball for their hard work, it turns the game into an athletic fashion show. If you’re on this website you’re probably lovin’ it.
What New Balance has done around this year’s festivities is a great example of the spoils of being an All Star.
This year, NB-wearing All Stars get their own one-of-a-kind 4040v2 cleat, which New Balance styled as an ode to Minnesota and the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” with a commemorative Bass fishing-inspired crest on the tongue and inner sole. Below are some of the guys you can expect to see wearing each color.
- Miggy Cabrera – Orange
- Jose Bautista – Royal
- Scott Kazmir – Yellow
- Salvy Perez – Royal
- Erick Aybar – Red
- Yadi – Red
- Madison Bumgarner – Orange
- Jonathan Lucroy – Navy
- Pat Neshek – Red
- Daniel Murphy – Royal
If that’s not enough, the cleats will be waiting at each player’s locker in a one-of-a-kind Tackle Box complete with a custom NB x Shimano rod-and-reel, lures and other fishing gifts from Dexter, Savage, Missile Baits and Rapala, along with some more apparel (including a custom trainer and a custom turf).
Yes, very cool. Yes, you might not know what the fishing stuff is but you want it. As do I. Unfortunately, the tackle box and cleats are exclusive to the All Stars. However, New Balance has created a limited run, the “Bass Pack” to compliment the All Star spoils, and that is available to us all.
The Bass Pack, a cleat and turf (sold separately), has a very subtle “fish scale” element, along with the gold trim that we see in the All Star versions. The one difference is the gold plate on the cleats, which is only available to the All Stars. The “Bass Pack” is limited to less than 500, and available at the following retailers: