Wilson's 2022 A2K Lineup Increases Spin Control, Colors
The 2022 A2K glove lineup from Wilson embraces all things Spin Control, adding the embossed leather palm to four new models in the lineup, up from the single Jose Abreu game model from the previous year.
“Each year we introduce different materials and different colors as well,” says Shigeaki Aso, Wilson Ball Glove master craftsman. “Players said they like Spin Control and we are making more gloves (with Spin Control) and having a very good reaction from pros and amateurs.”
The Spin Control technology made its first mainline introduction in the 2021 A2000 lineup and appeared in the 2021 A2K line in one model. The technology was a happy accident for Aso and Ryan Smith, Wilson Ball Glove manager, the duo working on improving touch on the inside of gloves. Aso says the design came from an embossed snakeskin design originally meant for the back of the fingers that Wilson asked the factory to include in samples. The factory mistakenly added the material to the palm too, but after testing from players, Aso and Smith knew they were on to something.
“We did a lot of testing in addition to the player feedback,” says Aaron Gillette, Wilson brand marketing manager. “We did some high-velocity camera work just to see how much of a difference and found there was a 5% increase of friction on contact.” The happy accident paved the way for Spin Control.
Aso says the pebbling style of the palm simply uses a different material and doesn’t change the pattern of the gloves, allowing for the addition into the 2022 line. Spin Control now appears in a blonde and gun metal 1786 for middle infielders, a 11.5” glove and Wilson’s most popular A2K; the 11.75” 1787 with a brick red palm and back with gun metal thumb strip and power finger; the 1775 for outfielders in a black and grey design with gold accents; and the Abreu model.
There’s also a new A2K B2 for 2022, a black and gun metal 12” pitchers’ pattern with blonde laces used by Wilson’s MLB pitchers.
The A2K features the pinnacle of Wilson leather across the entire line, from youth gloves to the MLB. Dubbed Pro Stock Select leather, selected from the top 5% of hides from a Japanese tannery, Aso says the slightly harder leather may take more time to break in but provides an incredible stiffness with a bit of stretch to make for a high-quality, durable glove favored by up to 30% of Wilson’s MLB players.
New for 2022, Wilson added touches of color to what was previously a black-heavy line. “Blonde is really popular right now,” Aso says. “We are going to use blonde on our A2K and the A2000 as well.” With two—at max, three—colors on the A2K design, Aso says they’re looking to incorporate more colors to brighten the line.
Along with blonde, Wilson is featuring gun metal in wrist straps to “infuse more energy” in the offerings. “It is a mix of art and science with colors, hearing what people are excited about, getting info from a lot of different places, seeing what is on the ballfields and going with what our gut says about what we think looks great,” Gillette says.
The A2K model was first created by Aso in the early 2000s and stands as the pinnacle of Wilson’s glove options, featuring the Pro Stock Select leather, double palm construction, hand crafting with three times more pounding and shaping to ensure durability and now the increase of Spin Control technology.
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.