Up the Middle

Up the Middle

I love middle infield gloves.

My bias comes from years and years of working on becoming a guy who could handle all the responsibilities of a shortstop or second baseman. Those responsibilities include the ability to adjust to different types of hops, understand the speed required to make the play, developing a feel for how to work with a partner on double plays. 

I never came close to mastering those skills. But, man, I loved working at it.

So, I have a special affection for the gloves I've designed for young middle infielders. They come in three different size, and I offer up three different kinds of webs.

The most popular web right now for middle infielders seems to be the I-Web. I think one of the main reasons it's popular is that it's very stylish. As you'll see with my gloves, I'm able to emblazon the I-Web with an embroidered logo. That means...nothing when it comes to performance, but I'd be lying if I told you kids weren't looking for a cool-looking glove. In function, the I-Web is very versatile. Depending on how you break in your glove and how loose you let it get (see: Troy Tulowitzki for an example of a guy who lets his glove become incredibly loose), the I-Web can be a tight, shallow web, or a fair deep ball-snagger.

One of the other webs I offer for middle infielders only in the Bandito Series 11.5" is the Modified Trap web. This is normally a web you see on pitchers and outfielders, but watching the Indians Jason Kipnis this past season made me consider it as a decent web for guys playing up the middle. The Mod Trap is going to work pretty much the way a fielder wants it to work. Keep the fingers tight and it won't be too deep. Let the fingers get loose and it's going to - again - envelope the ball entirely. It's up to the player.

Finally, I'm offering up our most unique web, the Plus, which I believe is a game-changer. The Plus, for me, is a classic web for a middle infielder who wants to find the ball easily. In testing the Plus, I loved the way I could feel the ball in the web, compared to gloves where the ball would hit the web and provide no physical feedback.

It's up to the player, of course, but I've gone above and beyond for the guys who are doing what I did a long time ago, when all I care about was being a pivot man.

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