Out of 695 major league players who appeared at the plate last year, all but 11 of them were seen consistently wearing batting gloves. (Source)
Let's take a look at some of the benefits that wearing batting gloves provides MLB players (and how they can help your game too).
Why Batting Gloves are So Common Among MLB Hitters
Batting gloves can help players to control the bat better. A good grip is important for swinging the bat with precision and power, so naturally, gloves that improve a player's grip are beneficial. So it makes sense that nearly 100% of MLB hitters opt to wear batting gloves to help them have a better grip on the bat.
While better grip equals better performance, it's also worth mentioning that if you don't have a good grip, you can easily lose control of the bat—and that can be dangerous. So it's not just about hitting the ball further or harder, it's also about safety.
The benefit of improved grip from wearing custom batting gloves is obvious, but there's another less immediately-obvious reason why gloves help players to control the bat.
One word: sweat.
When your hands are slippery from sweat, it's difficult to keep a firm grip on the bat. Batting gloves absorb sweat and help keep your hands dry, which gives you better control of the bat. Professional baseball players know this, so they always wear batting gloves when they play—well, at least 98.4% of them do.
Better Comfort (and Performance)
For many players, wearing batting gloves is also a matter of comfort—leading to better performance. The feel of the bat in their hands is important, and batting gloves can help provide a better grip. They can also help absorb some of the "shock" and vibration that comes with making solid contact with the ball.
A good pair of custom batting gloves can also help protect a player's hands from blisters and calluses, which are common injuries for hitters. Not to mention that batting gloves are helpful for keeping their hands warm during cold weather games!
Some players even wear batting gloves under their fielding gloves to improve their grip and help keep their hands dry and comfortable during the game—which are all advantages no matter how you slice it.
An Overlooked Extra Benefit: Focus
Furthermore, while it may seem small compared to the other benefits of wearing batting gloves, you can't discount the added mental boost that comes from knowing you have that extra layer of protection. It may not sound like much, but it can help give players the confidence they need to perform their best and slam that next pitch deep into the stands.
Additionally, the simple act of putting on the gloves can be a ritual that helps players to get into the zone and prepare for their turn at the plate—helping them to stay focused while they are up at bat. Most people are familiar with these kinds of Major League Baseball rituals; they're very common among pro athletes—and even more so in baseball.
From tugging the sleeves, tapping the bat, and patting the helmet in the batter box, to pointing to the stands before hitting, there are all sorts of different things players do to get themselves ready to knock it out of the park. Putting on those batting gloves can be a part of stepping up to the plate with a clear mind and the determination to succeed—and crush the ball.
The Bottom Line
The usage of batting gloves has become so commonplace in baseball that it's strange to see a player not wearing them.
Wearing them may not be required, but for 684 out of 695 MLB hitters—in other words, 98.4% of them—batting gloves are a no-brainer. The benefits are clear, and the downsides are few.
So next time you're watching a pro game, take a look at the players' hands—chances are, you'll see a lot of custom batting gloves at the plate. And now you'll know why.
Custom Batting Gloves
Of course, you don't have to be an MLB player to get your own custom batting gloves. If you're serious about baseball, batting gloves can help you improve your grip, increase your comfort, and focus on your performance—all of which can help you knock it out of the park. Click here to get your own custom batting gloves from Relentless Sports today!