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What Pros Wear Debut: Yasiel Puig (Bat, Batting Gloves, Cleats)

yasiel puig bat model, yasiel puig cleats, nike diamond elite pro ii, old hickory bats, nike air max gamer id

Yasiel Puig, the guy who made Spring Training look like “Little League” according to Don Mattingly, got the call today.  He hit .517 in Spring and continued to rake at AA Chattanooga, so the struggling Dodgers have brought him up looking for a spark.  A 2 for 4 night is a good start, but that wasn’t what his debut will be remembered for.  On a hard hit ball to right field, Puig ran back to his right, pivoted back to his left, caught a ball as he reached the track, then in one motion and still moving sideways he fired off a cannon on the money to double up the tying run at first—to end the game.

See it here (MLB.com decides to allow embedding of some but not all videos now).

The one thing I love about the Cuban players is that they all bust their ass, and Puig plays like a bulldog.  All I have to say is I can’t wait to watch him play again.

Bat

Old Hickory Maple Bat

yasiel-puig-bat-shot

The model in the photo is a 34.5 inch maple MY1, but Old Hickory posted a photo below of a 33.5 inch YP66.  We didn’t either of those models on their website or anywhere for that matter.

old-hickory-puig

 

Batting Gloves

Nike Diamond Elite Pro II in White/White/Black

These aren’t available (black writing on the strap and the bordered swoosh logo are exclusive), but you can get pretty close.

Cleats

NIKEiD Air Max Gamer

I built a pair exactly like the ones Puig wore tonight.  Check them below:

Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America

Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America

Oh, and check the bat flip:

MUST SEE: Matt Kemp’s Blue-Laced/Piped/Stitched Nike SHA|DO via @KeithAllison

I found these while researching Manny Machado just now and I had to show you guys this.  As much as I love Trout‘s Nike, this is just about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  Also, Keith Allison‘s DC-area Flickr account is a gear-hunter’s paradise.

Conveniently enough, Nike SHA|DO Elite gloves just became available recently.

What Pros Wear Update: Manny Machado (Glove, Sunglasses)

manny machado glove model, manny machado rawlings, rawlings pronp5tlb, rawlings heart of the hide, kaenon hard kore, hardkore sunglasses

If you’ve been watching MLB Network lately, you’ve noticed the comparisons between Machado, Trout and Harper.  When looking at those numbers (I broke it down with FantasyPros.com–is there a better comparison tool?), keep in mind that Trout is the elder statesman at 21 years old.  In a season that Jeter, Hamilton and Pujols are showing their wrinkles, the post-Steroid era might have found its torchbearers.  And the future is well-lit.

An interesting switch from Wilson to Rawlings by Machado this season.  We’ve seen very few converters since we started doing profiles on WPW, especially between these two leather heavyweights.

Glove

Rawlings Heart of the Hide PRONP5TLB

Source: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America

Source: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America

Machado’s custom Wilson A2000 1786 from 2012 was pretty, but Machado made the switch to an all-black Rawlings I-Web in 2013, the longer (12″) version of Jose Reyes‘ gamer.  Why change allegiances?  Machado might have gotten the idea from the best all-around 3B in the game for the last three seasons, Adrian Beltre (yes he needs a profile).

Source: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images North America

I love when you can actually see the model.  Source: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images North America

The difference between the two is that Beltre’s glove is decorated four-times Gold, and twice Platinum.

Watching some of these highlights, you get the feeling that there will be some gold in Machado’s glove before long, too.

Sunglasses

Kaenon Hard Kore in All Star White with G12 Lenses (Amazon link doesn’t seem to have his colors so I added Kaenon’s direct link)

Machado has been wearing the Kaenon with America’s colors, with a red Kaenon graphic logo on the left side and blue “Kaenon” letters on the right.  He’s also worn Oakley Radarlock Straight Stems (below) this season in white and black.  That’s the first we’ve seen this, and we like.

Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America

Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America

Catcher’s Corner: The Gold

 Source (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Nice shot of Joe Mauer and his catcher gear oddities. Such as his “7M” on the collar and the Wilson WTA3121 skull cap. Also the wrist guard and the gold Rawlings label on his PROSCM41B glove for getting a Rawlings Gold Glove. Mauer also wears a set of Nike Pro Gold gear, the Pro Gold Chest Protector and a set of Pro Gold shin guards.

 

Source (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Francisco Cervelli and his Mizuno Pro catchers gear. Cervelli also wears a Nike mask with his Mizuno Mizuno G2 pads. Cervelli also uses a Mizuno Global Elite Series GXC10. As we can see here.

Source (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Martin Maldonado has went from a navy System 7 CP30PRO protector to a gold protector. A few thoughts:

First of all I don’t like how the shin guards don’t match the protector. Looks like those Easton Rival protectors you can flip while the shin guards stay the same color. Doesn’t look quite right.

Second I don’t like how the gold on the MVP4000 and the CP30PRO aren’t the same color. The chest protector kind of looks like Butternut Crunch ice cream while the helmet looks like actual gold.

Third I’m just not a huge fan of light chest protectors. But I do like how he has “Maldy 12″ on his collar. Nice touch.

Source  (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America)

Nike SHA|DO Elite Gloves Now Available on JustBallGloves.com

nike shadow, BF1489, nike shado, sha do, , sha do elite

This is post-worthy.  We’ve been hoping to see these gloves in the American market for a while now and here they are.  Matt Kemp and Andrew McCutchen, move aside.

Shop the SHA|DO Elite here.

Many thanks to Fernando for the tip!

WPW Update: Dustin Pedroia (Bat, Batting Gloves, Cleats) + Franklin CFX Pro Review

dustin pedroia bat, dustin pedroia batting gloves, new balance 3000 cleats, new balance 4040 cleats, franklin cfx pro batting gloves, marucci bat, david ortiz marucci bat, do34

 

FOR THE MOST UPDATED VERSION OF THIS POST CLICK HERE.

Dustin Pedroia has added a couple of new wrinkles in his 2013 gear that I think you will like very much (look at those cleats!).  And we just so happen to have exclusive photos of his new gear that you can only find at What Pros Wear.

Bat

Marucci DO34 Low Density Maple

Pedroia has been swinging the David Ortiz model Marucci for a few years now.  Just goes to show you what kind of strength Pedroia has for a guy of his stature.  If you’re that size and swinging the same bat as a big bopper like Ortiz, and swinging it like Pedroia does, you’re an absolute freak of nature.  The DO34 is only available in ash, not Pedroia’s maple.

Batting Gloves

Franklin CFX Pro in Blue/Grey/Red (custom colors here, just not Pedroia’s)

Pedroia wears the CFX Pro in the exclusive colorway you see here:

franklin-cfx-pro-pedroia

The one thing Dustin Pedroia and I have in common is we both love Franklin gloves.  Franklin was nice enough to send me a pair of the CFX Pros (I was already wearing a pair this season, but I couldn’t pass up a new set), and the bottom line is, Franklin knows how to make a batting glove.  They’ve been doing it longer than anybody, and it shows.

franklins

The first thing you notice is that they feel fantastic.  You never feel hindered because Franklin is smart about where flexible material needs to be, that way the leather doesn’t stretch and you don’t feel like you’re fighting your glove for a stronger grip.  Durability is probably the most important aspect of batting gloves for amateur players, ya know, because we don’t get them for free on an unlimited basis like the pros.  Franklin has that covered, too.  In all honesty, I do think they sent me a slightly higher grade leather for my review, but even the ones off the shelf from last season lasted well into this season, a solid fifteen months of infield pop-ups (kidding, sort of).  I spit on my gloves about 35 times a game and then leave them to dry out in my bag, but with the Franklin CFX Pros you have a leather that can handle that type of thing as well as any glove I’ve worn.

After buying the cheap 2-for-1 Eastons, my teammate invested in some CFX Pros at my recommendation this season, and he told me after swinging them what a difference he felt.  No, its not as sexy a brand as some others, yes, the logo is literally just the name in black letters on a white background, but when you see the amount of pros still using them, you get the feeling that when it comes to batting gloves, sexy isn’t the priority.  It’s comfort and durability.  When it comes to those two components, there really is nobody better.  Right, Laser Show?

Cleats

New Balance 3000 Low in Red Camo/Black (Home) and Blue Camo/Black (Away)

Here’s a couple of exclusive photos New Balance provided for us to show you the goods:

pedroia new balance 3000 red

Source: Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America

Source: Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America

Dustin Pedroia Camo New Balance Cleats

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Leg Guard

Evoshield Custom

You can see in the feature that Pedroia wears a guard to protect him from his own foul balls.  We couldn’t find anything like it online, but as you probably know by now, Evoshield sells a leg guard that also protects the shin as well.

Here’s a nice little ESPN feature that’ll remind you just who we’re dealing with.  I find it funny that they want to paint him as the underdog—“he went undrafted out of high school”—yeah, he was recruited as the starting shortstop for Arizona State.  And then they go, “he didn’t score highly in any scouting category”—and then he went in the second round of the draft.  Nice try, but this guy was never the underdog—he was always a filthy baseball player, at every single level.

Also found this article, explaining that Pedroia gave back his scholarship after his freshman year in college to sign a pitcher!  The story goes on: “A Juco pitcher named Ben Thurmond was ready to transfer, and Dustin wanted the Sun Devils to grab him. There were no more scholarships available, so Dustin gave up his. He and Thurmond had played together on a US junior team. Dustin’s parents were making enough to afford the tuition, but Thurmond’s parents were not.”

What a player.

What Pros Wear at the Barber Shop via @HEADZUPJUICE

Bryce Harper (After)

I found an interesting Instagram account thanks to a buddy a couple of weeks ago and figured I should introduce you guys.  The barber’s name is Huge “Juice” Tandron, AKA “The Playoff Barber.”  He owns HEADZUP Barber Shop in Miami and his client list reads like an MLB All Star roster.  Lucky for us, he snaps post-cut photos of all the big names and throws them on his Instagram account.  Check it out…