Image credit: (Photo courtesy of EvoShield)
A bevy of MLB players have already started showing off what EvoShield recently launched for consumers: new elbow and hand guard models in the form of the Pro-SRZ Two-Piece Elbow Guard and the Pro-SRZ Hand Guard.
The two-piece elbow guard was created to provide more coverage than the original EvoShield Elbow Guard and has already been adopted by MLB players Ronald Acuna Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., JJ Bleday, Jeff McNeil and Jesse Winker. “The two-piece elbow guard is my favorite elbow guard to be made,” Winker says, while adding the range of motion with protection is a good combination. “And, on top of that, I think it looks the coolest.”
The two-piece construction covers batters from the triceps to the forearm, using the lightweight custom-molded Gel-to-Shell technology found in the Pro-SRZ lineup. The triceps shield is an inch longer than the standard Pro-SRZ Elbow Guard and the forearm shield is 5-1/2 inches. An elastic strap holds the two pieces together.
“We decided it was best to make a more baked-in solution for guys,” says Drew Tryner, EvoShield industrial designer. “It was intentionally designed to offer that additional coverage without impeding their range of motion.”
Acuna Jr. served as the baseline when EvoShield principal designer Matt Dierkes started working on the fresh product. The Two-Piece Elbow Guard features two Gel-to-Shell shields—one on the triceps and another on the forearm—in a single unit to offer maximum protection in a streamlined construction.
“This was designed from the ground up with the intention of having elbow and forearm protection in one,” Dierkes says. “It is not an add-on to a current guard.”
The new EvoShield Pro-SRZ Hand Guard shields the back of a batter’s lead hand and the outside of the wrist, using a finger loop to secure the Gel-to-Shell guard in place. The guard is designed to be worn over a batting glove.
“We wanted to make sure that we protected those areas in as seamless a product as possible,” Tryner says. “It couldn’t impede a player’s swing or wrist manipulation, but it had to keep them from getting their wrists and hands blown up on an inside cutter.”
The new design uses two shields for improved protection, with one shield molding across the wrist and the other across the back of the hand.
“We wanted to create a hand guard that also had wrist protection for the bottom hand,” says Corey Williams, EvoShield player insights specialist. “A lot of players and trainers said that they have tried to protect that part of the wrist, but nothing has worked due to mobility issues. We solved for that issue with this hand guard.”
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.