There is no more personal piece of equipment to a catcher than her mitt. The catcher’s mitt has requirements that exceed those of any other position on the field, and they must be met while still providing the utmost in comfort. The mitt must withstand countless hours of constant abuse without deteriorating, and it must stay functional the whole time.

Easton built the SYFP2000 to solve all these needs, while keeping it at a price point that hard-working parents will appreciate. This mitt utilizes the materials and features you expect to find in gloves costing twice as much (at least). It is aimed at the competitive teenage fastpitch softball player, which is a demanding market. Does the Easton SYFP2000 have what it takes to command the respect of high school and travel softball players? Let’s find out.

Features

  • Narrow hand opening/finger stalls
  • Ideal Fit System
  • Velcro wrist strap
  • Closed back keeps glove hand cleaner
  • Bio-Dri fabric inside wicks moisture from hand
  • VRS Palm Pad absorbs shocks
  • Deep pocket ensures ball retention
  • Oil-Tanned Leather
  • Closed, two-piece web

Advantages

Quality Leather

The SYFP is made from oil-tanned leather, which is a quality material. These durable yet soft leather gloves last for years if properly maintained, and they only get better with age. The Easton SYFP2000 is soft-tumbled to provide a quick break-in period, and it can pretty much go straight from the box to the field, though some break in would be wise.

Fit = Function

Easton designed the SYFP2000 to fit the smaller hands of teenage softball players. The narrow finger stalls and small hand opening should fit girls with smaller hands securely, while the soft Bio-Dri fabric liner provides all-game comfort. Easton also included a hook-and-loop strap on the back to further aid in a secure fit, and the back is closed to keep out dirt.

Comfort = Performance

The VRS palm pad disperses shock effectively to keep the glove hand ready for the next pitch, so the player will catch as effectively in the last inning as in the first. The extra-deep pocket helps secure the ball when that riser has a little extra jump on it, and the closed, two-piece web is slightly larger than normal for the same reason.

Disadvantages

Fit — A Double-Edged Sword

Easton limited the list of potential SYFP2000 customers a bit by focusing clearly on the smaller hand sizes of younger players. High-school seniors and college players may find the fit too snug, and larger catchers at younger ages will likely find this mitt becoming cramped as games wear on.  The design shows Easton’s understanding that these are separate markets, however. One-size-fits all designs rarely fit anyone well.

Deep Pocket is a Bargain

Making a softball glove fit any situation that may arise is a dicey proposition, especially at the catcher’s positon. The SYFP2000’s super-deep pocket will make receiving moving pitches easier, but it will also require a bit more break-in than Easton’s advertising suggests. Also, a deep pocket is a tradeoff between ball security and a quick transition to the throwing hand. At the level of ball that the SYFP2000 is meant for, speedy baserunners will test a catcher. Any perceived lack of speed in the transition will be picked up on and exploited.

Out with the Old

Softball equipment manufacturers are in constant competition, and they must always be producing the next big thing. The Easton SYFP2000 is a victim of that circumstance. Easton makes an updated version based on the same pattern, but with different materials. (Check out the new Synergy Elite mitt here.) The colors of the newer model are a matter of taste, though, and the prices are naturally higher. If your player prefers the look of natural leather, then the SYFP2000 is the right choice.

Verdict

When the worst things you can say about a mitt is that it won’t fit everyone and the player must get accustomed to it, you’ve got a pretty good product on your hands (no pun intended). The long list of positives outweighs the few negatives to such an extent that this glove is a no-brainer. It really is that good. And the fact that it can be had for such a low price is almost laughable.

The catcher mans the toughest position on the diamond, and needs a mitt suited to her demanding role. She is asked to work like a horse, pitch after pitch, game after game, and make zero mistakes. She needs proper equipment to fulfill her job duties and her promise, but providing that equipment can be a tough task for parents on a tight budget. Easton has done a remarkable thing with this SYFP2000 catcher’s mitt, and it will continue to solve a lot of dilemmas for families while it can still be had.

For an overview of the best mitts, including for positions other than catcher, please check out our main reviews page.

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