One of the great things about playing baseball is that you don’t need a lot of preparation to get into the game. Find a place to play, a bat, a ball, and a glove to ensure you’re ready to go.
Of course, that might be oversimplifying things a little bit. If you start to take the game more seriously and play at a competitive level then having the right equipment is very important. Using the right equipment isn’t just determined by the rules in many leagues but it can also help prevent injury and help you play to the best of your abilities.
The Mizuno Samurai Pro Catcher’s Mitt is a quality catcher’s mitt that won’t break the budget. Still, comparing it to other baseball gloves on the market may cause some people to take pause and wonder if the price is worth it.
Here’s a look at the benefits and drawbacks of the Mizuno Samurai Pro Catcher’ Mitt.
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Catcher’s Mitts Versus Fielder’s Mitts
A lot of people have a standard baseball fielder’s mitt sitting around their house. Can’t you just grab that old baseball mitt and play catcher?
If you’re playing in a slow pitch league then wearing a catcher’s mitt is probably not necessary. Catcher’s mitts are designed to bear the brunt of hard, fast pitches.
In order to protect your hand when catching fast pitches, catcher’s mitts have extra padding on the palm and reinforced spaces for the fingers to prevent them from bending and breaking while catching. In contrast, a fielder’s mitt sports less padding and a different alignment for the fingers which offers less protection.
The surface area of a catcher’s mitt is also much larger than a fielder’s mitt. Fast pitches aren’t always completely accurate and catchers have to be able to adjust accordingly and stop wayward pitches.
In essence, a catcher’s mitt is important for catchers because it helps them do their job effectively and helps avoid unnecessary injury. A lot of competitive leagues will make it mandatory for catchers to wear a proper mitt for their position so it may not be an option to choose between a catcher’s mitt and a fielder’s mitt.
What Makes the Mizuno Samurai Pro Catcher’s Mitt Unique?
If you are shopping around then you will see the wide range in pricing for catcher’s mitts. This Mizuno catcher’s mitt is somewhere in the middle of that range. It’s not a top-of-the-line offering but it is priced noticeably higher than some of the entry level mitts.
What sets apart the higher end catcher’s mitts like the Mizuno Samurai Pro from lower end designs? There are a few factors at play.
Design-wise, all catcher’s mitts have a similar appearance. The materials used are the biggest difference in design between various models. Entry level mitts will use synthetic leather-like materials while higher quality mitts like the Mizuno Samurai Pro will use real leather which is typically more soft and durable than synthetic offerings.
Mizuno catcher’s mitts use a feature called a ParaShock palm which is the brand’s own method of providing protection to the catcher. According to the company, the ParaShock palm offers more protection and comfort than other mitts while also reducing rebounding. Rebounding is a huge concern for catchers who are expected to catch and secure the ball without dropping it or allowing it to bounce away.
In addition, Mizuno offers a patent-pending thumb protection technology in this catcher’s mitt. For catchers playing in higher level competitive leagues, having that added thumb protection could be the difference between a sore thumb and a broken one when negotiating a wild pitch.
Perception of the Mizuno Samurai Pro Catcher’s Mitt
Marketing speak and exclusive features are nice but most people want to know if the marketing jargon actually translates into real world performance. Does the ParaShock palm and patent-pending thumb protection in the Mizuno Samurai Pro Catcher’s Mitt live up to the hype?
The opinions about this catcher’s mitt from buyers are largely positive. Several common themes stand out when examining customer reviews.
First, people do seem to believe that the ParaShock palm is genuinely an improvement over the technology used by other brands. Many players noted that they can withstand long practices and a number of hard pitches without feeling the pain that would usually be present with other gloves.
The real leather used to make the Mizuno Samurai Pro also catches the attention of buyers. People who are moving from entry level gloves will notice this much more than players who have always used gloves made from real leather. In any case, there are a number of positive comments from buyers that mention the comfort and durability of this mitt.
There were some common thoughts that aren’t necessarily positive or negative but may be helpful if you are considering purchasing this mitt.
A number of people mentioned that the Mizuno Samurai Pro Catcher’s Mitt is very stiff when first used. This is not uncommon among baseball gloves but it does seem that the Mizuno Samurai Pro requires a little bit of extra love and attention before being put into game action.
Using a catcher’s mitt that is too stiff will make it more difficult to secure the ball, especially from harder and faster pitches. Using glove oil to help soften the glove might be necessary, especially if you have limited practice time to work with some pitches.
There were some comments about the size of the glove’s pouch. Many people noted that this glove is perfect for baseball but softball players may find that the glove is too small to accommodate the larger ball size.
Negative reviews and comments about the Mizuno Samurai Pro Catcher’s Mitt are hard to come by. In fact, most negative reviews simply have to do with the size and the fit of the mitt. Ordering the correct size is essential to ensure a comfortable fit. Some people may also notice that the thumb protection feels tighter than other mitts which may take some getting used to.
How Does the Mizuno Samurai Pro Compare with Other Catcher’s Mitts?
Pricing is often the first difference that people notice when comparing products. Of course, price doesn’t tell you the entire story but it is a good place to start with comparisons.
Entry level catcher’s mitts start around the $30 to $40 mark. Top-of-the-line catcher’s mitts can cost more than $200. At around $120, the Mizuno Samurai Pro is a very nice middle ground between entry level mitts and the most expensive offerings on the market.
Entry level catcher’s mitts typically use synthetic materials and offer no special features that you find in higher end mitts. If you are shopping for a child who has growing hands and is not facing high-speed pitching yet then entry level mitts are a good, inexpensive way to get into the game.
On the other end of the spectrum are the high-end catcher’s mitts. These mitts are the same models you will see high-level competitive players using. While these gloves often offer the best materials and the latest technology, spending $200 or more on a catcher’s mitt can be a major turn off for many people. Not to mention, these gloves may be entirely unnecessary for people who are just playing casually or at a lower competition level.
The Mizuno Samurai Pro has a quality and price that is a perfect fit for people who have graduated from entry level mitts but aren’t ready for the price tag attached to the high-end offerings. However, don’t let the price of the Samurai Pro fool you into thinking this mitt doesn’t have some top quality features.
The ParaShock palm is also found in Mizuno’s higher end mitts and the padding is comparable to other mitts from competing brands. The use of real leather to build the glove is also a nice touch. You can enjoy the benefits of real leather without having to move up into the next tier of mitts that come with a higher price tag.
While you may not see the pros wearing a Mizuno Samurai Pro mitt, Mizuno is one of the top brands in Major League Baseball. The Samurai Pro Catcher’s Mitt is a great way for amateur players with a budget to experience some pro-quality features and protection.
What We Think About the Mizuno Samurai Pro
If you’re shopping for a catcher’s mitt then there is a reason. People who play beer league weekend slow pitch don’t go looking for a catcher’s mitt because it’s entirely unnecessary at that level. Instead, you are looking for the protection and performance of a proper catcher’s mitt.
The Mizuno Samurai Pro Catcher’s Mitt is a perfect mix of performance, quality, and price. It strikes a very nice balance between the higher and lower ends of the catcher’s mitt options available on the market.
The glowing reviews online regarding this mitt simply cannot be ignored. People love this catcher’s mitt and it’s arguably one of the best value mitts available. Yes, you could spend less money but you will surely be getting a lesser product.
Mizuno has done a nice job of incorporating some of their high-end technology into this mid-range catcher’s mitt. If you want to experience some of the performance of a professional quality glove but your budget is under $200 then this glove should check off many of the boxes for you.
If you have some time before your ball season gets underway then keep an eye out for sales on the Mizuno Samurai Pro Catcher’s Mitt. Its list price at around $120 is very nice and if you can find a sale that brings the cost down near the $100 mark you will have scored a sweet deal.
Overall, this is a well-rounded catcher’s mitt that has found a nice home among the mid-range catcher’s mitts available on the market today. You get a lot of value packed into this one glove and you can be confident the quality and performance will meet or exceed your expectations.
So, what is our final opinion on the Mizuno Samurai Pro Catcher’s Mitt? This glove makes some big promises and sticks to them. The price point is very good for a glove of this quality. If it fits in your budget then you should strongly consider the Mizuno Samurai Pro.