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:
BY BRIAN DURYEA
The Houston Astros have had the 1st pick in the MLB First Year Player draft for the last three years. However, they can no longer claim they’ve also signed them. Brady Aiken, the big left handed highschooler with a 96/97 mph fastball with Scherzer-like control and a curveball that Clayton Kershaw might even appreciate, was drafted 1st by the Astros in last month’s (2014) draft. However, the Astros and Aiken failed to come to terms by the signing deadline. This marks, by my count, only the 3rd time a 1st overall pick didn’t sign with the club he was drafted by since the MLB draft was instituted in 1965.
At the risk of pointing out the obvious: Houston, we have a problem.
Leave it up to the Astros to make something fairly routine more than difficult. At the same time, rumors abound that Aiken was originally offered 6.5 million yet the offer was lowered to around 3 once some testing on his elbow came back. Astros then raised the offer to 5 million in an attempt to make a deal happen only to have Aiken refuse and they both allowed the deadline to pass. ESPN reports that the commissioners office was in favor of the offers and stand by the Astros. Or so reads the comment sections of some of the ESPN buzz.
It’s hard to blame a kid like Aiken for not signing with the dumpster fire of Major League Baseball Organizations at the moment. But passing up a 5 million dollar offer out of principle seems like the beginning of a story of unfortunate events. Let’s hope he stays healthy in the next 12 months while playing semi-pro t0 enter the draft next year. Or, depending on how the NCAA sees the dealings, Aiken might go to a D-I school (like UCLA) and go into the draft when he is a Junior in college.
And since we are talking about him, why not mention that Aiken swung the BEST BAT OF 2014 in the Easton XL1 BBCOR in high school (or at least poses with them in pictures). A fantastic endloaded bomb dropping fool of a bat from Easton’s Power Brigade Series. It swings about 20% heavier than its similarly weighted cousin in the S1.
Astros fans may not be able to feel any worse for their team so I don’t suspect this is any salt in the wound. On the bright side, the Astros will get both next years 2nd pick in the 1st round as well as the pick they end up getting–which, we can guess at this point, will once again be the 1st.
Brian Duryea, the author, is the owner of justbatreviews.com and is a regular contributor to whatproswear. He can be reached at admin@
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.