As part of the Opening Day program, Rawlings releases a few top shelf gloves as a teaser for their upcoming line. This year they release a mocha leather 11.25 Pro preferred that, frankly, has us drooling. It uses a traditional I-web pattern and tan laces from their famed Tennessee Tannery. As a Pro-Preferred glove, expect top shelf tight grain Kip leather, a 100% wool wrist backing and 70% work in pre-purchase. This is an ideal 2nd baseman’s glove. We could also see the occasional younger shortstop who prefers a smaller glove. More details and recommendations in the below Rawlings Pro Preferred 11.25 glove reviews.
Rawlings Pro Preferred 11.25 Review Contents
Rawlings Pro Preferred 11.25 Glove Sources
We relied on a few sources to put together this Rawlings Pro Preferred 11.25 glove review article. Utmost was our Rawlings Pro Preferred glove line up review. There we discuss much of the unique features found across all Pro Preferred gloves. We also compare them to Heart of the Hide and Gold Glove models from Rawlings.
Rawlings Pro Preferred 11.25 Recommendations
As an 11.25 inch glove, the Pro Preferred models are generally made for the adult 2nd baseman in mind. Sometimes, smaller players looking for top shelf equipment will find this smaller glove a good fit for short stop or even third base. We would suggest this glove to anyone in those positions looking for a very serious glove that, if taken care of, should last years. It is some of the best quality you can find on the market.
The Pro Preferred Models all use a Kip leather for the outer shell. Kip leather refers to hides from younger cows. This smaller animal leather is both more expensive and has a tighter grain structure. The tighter grain structure makes for a softer and more durable feel. This kip leather is, in large measure, the major difference between Pro Preferred Gloves and Heart of the Hide gloves.
70/30 Work In
Unlike the 2016 2 1/4 Rawlings Pro Preferred, this 2017 version comes with a 70% factory work in. This means that Rawlings worked the glove in to 70% of its playing shape. The final 30% is to be done by the player to fit his hand. 70% is the furthest amount of break in you would want from the factory. The rest needs to be personalized to your hand shape and preferences.
11.25″ Premier Glove Positions
Although most MLB 2nd baseman use an 11.5 inch glove, there are many that use an 11.25 inch glove too. Additionally, lots of elite high school 2nd baseman as well as collegiate players prefer the 11.25 inch. The short glove makes for fast hands. This 11.25 infield glove is the shortest glove Rawlings makes in a elite level glove.
I-Web on the 11.25 PROS2172-2MO
I-Webs or, as some call them, H-Webs are made for the middle infield player looking for the most shallow pocket possible. It is also the lightest glove web design and therefore makes for a faster flash. We recommend this design for middle infield.
Rawlings Pro Preferred 11.25 Similar Gloves
Wilson’s A2K 1788
Although marketing arguments will abound, the PROS2172-2MO Rawlings 11.25 glove may very well be in response to the success of Wilsons’s 1788 A2K. The two gloves are remarkably similar in terms of a top flight glove built for top flight players. Both are middle infield gloves with a shallow H-Web designed pocket in an 11.25 inch length.
The Pro Preferred 11.25 uses wool on the wrist strap, has extra padding in the thumb sleeve and uses a Pittards sheep skin lining on the glove inside for a softer feel. None of those features are found on the A2K. But the Wilson 11.25 1788 A2K has a unique set of features, like Superskin, all its own. (You can see more on our 1788 review).
All in all, both gloves are some of the very best a consumer can purchase in this sizing pattern. And, with a very similar price point and near identical general pattern, expect the real difference to be nothing more than branding.
Rawlings 2016 11.25 Infield Glove
Within the brand, the 2016 Rawlings 11.25 Pro Preferred glove is a spitting image of the 2017 version. That is, a spitting image if you are color blind. The 2017 glove boasts the same features in material. The only technical difference is the 2016 version comes with a 60% factory work in. Not, as is the case with the 2017, a 70% work in from the factory. Small beans in terms of differences.
Color will be the most significant difference between the two. The serial number on this one is PROS12ICPR. There are other 2016 versions of this same glove in different color patterns. They are all, ultimately, they same glove functionally but with different colored leather.