Excellent question Wales Diesel. To do your question justice, please be patient with the length of my answer. I assume your serious about your progression in this sport, so I’m going to address my answer with the same degree.
The reason for the glove selection and fine tuning your equipment, is to better compliment your repertoire (pitch selection) at the higher levels of competition.
Most youngsters who play park and recreation ball at the 10 -12, 13U, 14U and even some at the varsity level(s) really don’t pay too much attention to their pitch selection and the degree of skill that each pitch offers to their presence. Inevitably, a young pitcher usually throws gas 95% of the time with an occasional slider or some other breaking ball. Rarely will change-ups be effective and instrumental as a learning tool – because the change-up has to be compared to something meaningful ( accurate fastball). A fastball with nothing but gas is a good thing – but not that dependable when it doesn’t go where it should. Remember – the batter owns the center of the plate, you own the corners.
Complimenting this situation is the coaching that usually looks for endurance rather than specific composites in a club’s pitching staff. Hence, most high school,AAU and other such clubs – in general, won’t look for a three power pitchers with command, two junk guys, one specialty hurler, and three backups with an assortment of stuff mostly in the rookie stages of development. Why? Because most clubs …well, get what they can get. Amateur baseball is a haphazard environment at best –with only a few gifted and dedicated to go beyond the average learning curve. Add to this the selection of talent that’s governed by specific school attendance, district governance, league stipulation an so forth, limits the development of talent for any given prospect – namely YOU.
So, how does my subject on glove selection help you specifically?considering what I just mentioned above – and that’s a lot to grasp for the first time around, what pitches do think are your strong suit.(?) What physical attributes compliment your specialties? Do you have strong hands and wrists with long fingers that support a lot of rotation? Do you plan on practicing with enough dedication to develop an awesome fastball with location? If your fastball doesn’t have overpowering velocity, can you paint the corners of the plate anytime you want – up/down/inside/outside. Do you have a bat breaking slider? What if any – pitches are you noted for? What is you bread-n butter stuff?
Why am I asking these questions instead of answering your question directly? Because your specialties will determine your glove(s) selection. And if you intend on competing at the very high end of competition in this sport – you must have three (3) hard nose, no nonsense pitches all polished and ready to pluck out of your bag of tricks – when needed.
This selection of yours of what your best noted for will greatly reduce your experimentation and will increase your effectiveness on WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. So, let’s say you have a great split finger fastball. In fact, it’s so good that it’s your mainstay. Now, you get to the park and you start to warm up in the bullpen. (by the way, it’s in the bullpen where you want to pitch your first inning.) So you start to fit in, working the split finger. But, something doesn’t feel right today – today you need something different. As you look at the mound you notice it’s not as steep as what your use to. Well, in order for your split finger to work the way you want to, you know from prior experience you have a glove that will fit the situation just perfectly. A glove that’s more elongated in the fingers, with less curve and heavier too. Also, for one reason or another, that glove has a basket weave web section that was just the ticket two weeks ago. And on goes the game. But, hold on ! After the fourth inning the mound has changed. It’s all chewed up. Now your striding into a hole that just gets worse and worse. Now your split finger isn’t working the way you want – but your posture and delivery (mechanics) adjustments aren’t doing the job alone. So you go into your equipment bag and take out a shorter fingered glove with less weight and a glove hand form that seems to bring your thumb in closer to the pocket section. Again, from a prior practice session – this glove suits this mound’s condition and the way you feel.
Select three pitches that you feel most comfortable commanding – and commanding well. Focus on your expertise here, refine and polish. Then collect a inventory of gloves, spikes, cups, undergarments that will maximize each of these specifically, and those that will cross assist. Remember, feeling each pitch is a particular memory process that deserves time and sensitivity.