Published by Jake Perlmutter, Professional Hit Rep
Axe Bat has recently partnered with the nationally ranked PRP Mambas travel baseball organization. The Mambas will be swinging Axe Bat exclusively all summer as they travel around the country playing against the top teams in the country in the top tournaments travel ball has to offer. To get them ready for the upcoming season, each player on the Mambas team has had the opportunity to go through our fitting process to find the right Axe Bat Pro-Fit Wood, BBCOR bat, and the perfect Axe handle for their swing. Greg Vogt, General Manager and Coach of the PRP Mambas, was kind enough to sit down with us and let us pick his brain on a variety of topics.
Q: First of all, can you tell us a little about PRP Baseball and the Mambas?
A: The PRP Mambas is in our second year of existence as a part of our company PRP Baseball. Impactful training and mentoring through the process of success on and off the field. PRP Baseball is into our 4th year as a national baseball training company. We provide constant assessment, rigorous training, and an unmatched culture to bring passionate athletes to the next level. We specialize in pitching, hitting, and sport performance training. In 4 years, we have helped produce 200 collegiate athletes, a top 10 MLB draft pick, and have worked with players from 13 different professional organizations.
Our PRP Mambas mission is to build a roster and schedule filled with high-level athletes ready to develop their game on and off the field while competing nationally prior to their Freshman fall season. Staff and trainers are fully invested in creating individualized plans that lead to accomplishing goals throughout the year as well as winning on the national scene.
Q: And what's your role and how have you seen that expand over the recent years?
A: Currently, I am the General Manager and Pitching Coach for the PRP Mambas. Since accepting a job with the Toronto Blue Jays, I have staffed our team to be run by our PRP coaches on site as well as attending games during the summer around our Blue Jays schedule in Dunedin, Florida.
Q: Why did you choose to partner with Axe Bat?
A: Axe Bat has invested in putting the best products on the field that give players a direct impact on performance. This matches our model of player development and monitoring player performance. The training bats have been a key aspect of our hitting training modalities for years. It makes perfect sense to partner and build more Axe Bat usage in game alongside our training environment.
Q: What makes the PRP Mambas different than other travel baseball organizations?
A: The PRP Mambas are different due to our full commitment to player development and competitive nature throughout the year. We won’t settle for good enough. We find players who are invested in their development and want to be successful at the next level. This comes from hard work, constant assessment of development, and competing on the national scene.
Q: PRP stands for Passion, Resilience and Process. How does that mantra impact the training and development of your players?
A: These three intangibles are key to success on and off the field. We want to prepare athletes for a successful path in all areas. This requires full commitment to the process of your development, learning from failures, and pushing yourself to achieve goals.
Q: How do you use data and analytics in player development?
A: We use state-of-the-art technology systems such as Trackman, Hit Trax, Rapsodo, Blast, Edgertronic, and Tendo. By measuring key variables in training, pitch tracking, and hitting metrics we can use information to make educated decisions on player development systems for each individual.
Q: How does competition factor in player development?
A: Everything we do revolves around competing. The most important thing is competing with yourself on a daily basis to get 1% better every day. By committing to the process, we believe every athlete is prepared for competition at all levels because we have already done the work.
Q: How did you get involved with Axe Bat?
A: We first met with Axe Bat in 2018 when we launched our hitting programs. We immediately saw benefits with the training bats in our hitting classes. Since then, we have developed a trusted relationship with Axe Bat to continue pushing player development.
Q: What are the Mambas players and staff most excited about in partnering with Axe Bat and swinging Axe wood and BBCOR bats on-field all summer?
A: The Mambas players and staff are excited about using custom bats tailored to their swing as we compete on a national scene. Doesn’t hurt that they are custom colors to match the uniforms either!
Q: What has been the biggest impact your hitters have seen since switching to the Axe handle?
A: We have noticed an expedited process to break down swings and create a training atmosphere that challenges athletes to self-organize with the Axe trainers.
Q: Have your players seen performance improvements after switching to Axe Bat?
A: Absolutely. Every year we see improvements in swing patterns, swing decisions, and exit velocity.
Q: How do you use Axe Bat training bats in developing hitters?
A: We use them daily in our hitting classes, 1-on-1 assessments, and pre-game warm-ups for Mambas. Our coaching staff customizes athlete progressions with different Axe Bat trainers (log, underload, overload, short bat) to challenge athletes to create better patterns.
Q: What do you see the training bats doing for your hitters?
A: When programmed and used correctly, they provide the same benefits as they do for the older athletes. Constantly challenging hitters to be efficient in their swing patterns, make good swing decisions, and develop bat speed.
Q: In addition to using the latest technology, how is PRP evolving to meet the needs of today's player?
A: We are constantly pushing our assessment and programming modalities for our athletes. PRP takes pride in how we manage each athlete while they are training with us. Our programming will continue to develop with great partnerships with Axe Bat, Trackman, Rapsodo, TRAQ, and facilities. The PRP coaching staff will continue to push each other alongside our athletes to put the best opportunities in front of our Mambas and athletes training on site!