Greg Vogt spent years building a training business he calls PRP Baseball (Passion Resilence Process) and others noticed. The Toronto Blue Jays were impressed enough to offer Vogt the job of Rehab Pitching Coach. Vogt, a graduate of Carmel (Ind.) High School (2008) and Anderson (Ind.) University (2012), accepted and recently moved wife Whitney and three boys — Parker (6), Griffen (4) and Jackson (4 months) — close to the Jays complex in Dunedin, Fla. The organization has established a new 65-acre Player Development Complex for Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball players about 10 minutes from TD Ballpark where the Blue Jays play spring training games. Built during the COVID-19 lockdown, the facility has multiple tools to train and evaluate players including Trackman, Edgertronic, Rapsodo and HitTrax — all tools that Vogt and his staff use at PRP Baseball which is housed at Mojo Up Sports Complex (formerly known as Finch Creek Fieldhouse) in Noblesville, Ind. “That was a big part of making this decision, seeing their investment in player development,” says Vogt, who is in charge of players on the throwing side and is creating some bigger systems including arm care to keep athletes healthy. He regularly meets with pitching coaches and directors of player development. A biomechanical lab with six or seven Edgertronic high-speed cameras allows the tracking of movement, force and other measurable elements that can give feedback to the pitcher. “We can give them a real breakdown,” says Vogt. “(The camera) reads 1 second pitch and there’s like 30-second video. “We can make adjustments to make movement or the pitching arsenal better.” While getting to know faces of players and other Jays personnel, Vogt begins seeing pitchers in various stages of rehab early in the morning. They are split into groups. Depending on the day or their needs or programs, these hurlers may do some combination of throwing, weight lifting and medical treatment. Vogt says PRP Baseball being the “home in Indiana and beyond for all high-level baseball training is still the goal and it continues to be executed. “Our philosophy will be the exact same. We continue to have more college commitments and (MLB) draftees.” So far, 58 players from the Class of 2022 who train with PRP Baseball — in-person or remotely — have made college commitments. Vogt is still the Director of Operations for PRP Baseball and stays connected with his staff in Noblesville that includes Lead Hitting Coach Quentin Brown (who is also now a minor league hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates), Director of Hitting Jake Douglass, Pitching Coach Christian Dukas, Director of Player Development for Pitching Anthony Gomez, Pitching Coach Marcus McCormick, Hitting Coach Noah Niswonger, Director of Camps and Floor Trainer Seth Story, Pitching Coach Tasker Strobel and Director of Sports Performance Bram Wood. Gomez is handling more daily operations responsibilities with Vogt currently off-site. Vogt is still Director of Operations for PRP Baseball and manages all systems and marketing. “I can still take off the work load on some of the back end stuff like making sure we have space, sign-ups, programming software and building spreadsheets,” says Vogt. “Delegating to on-site staff very important to their growth as well.”
Anthony Gomez is full of gratitude for a career in baseball. The Director of Player Development for Pitching at PRP Baseball (Passion Resilience Process) housed at Mojo Up Sports Complex (formerly known as Finch Creek Fieldhouse) in Noblesville, Ind., joined the company in August 2020. He recently gained more daily operations responsibilities with PRP Baseball Founder and Director Greg Vogt becoming the Rehab Pitching Coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. Before coming to PRP Baseball, Gomez spent four years as a coach/instructor at Morris Baseball (now 5 Star Great Lakes) in northwest Indiana, working with Bobby Morris and Dave Sutkowski. In the summers, he coached for Morris Baseball (2017-19) and Chicago-based and Al Oremus-led Prairie Gravel (2020). “I have thankfulness for Bobby Morris allowing me to work at his facility and the things that he taught me,” says Gomez. “That’s another another part that’s allowed me to be where I today.” Gomez called his training group of 150-plus players raining from middle school to collegiate to professional levels the Region Jabronis. “That was 22-year-old me being funny,” says Gomez of the satiric name. “A Jabroni is a term is to describe someone is all talk. “We don’t want to be all talk. Let’s put in the work. I don’t want to hear you talking about it. “Results always speak.” Gomez, who has various certifications including OnBaseU pitching evaluation and Driveline Baseball and studied with Randy Sullivan at Florida Baseball Armory and taken the Brian Cain mental performance class. “All coaches should be equipped to handle the psychological end,” says Gomez. “They can be mentors to them to handle stresses when they’re treading water. “Ultimately, we’re trying to help people.” Gomez, who has read “Old School vs. New School: The Application Of Data & Technology Into Baseball” by Eugene Bleecker is always growing his baseball knowledge. He shares his insight on the biomechanics of throwing, intertwining weight room work to benefit throwers and understanding human movement to help PRP Baseball athletes become more efficient movers on the field. The man who turns 28 on March 4 is all-in for baseball and the development of players, particularly pitchers. There was a time when Gomez lost his zeal for the diamond. A left-handed pitcher, Gomez was not planning to play baseball in college and was going to focus his attention on his studies. Then just as his senior year at Munster (Ind.) High School was ending in 2012, Gomez received an offer from Vincennes (Ind.) University coach Chris Barney and a scholarship to play for the junior college Trailblazers. Gomez saw a liveliness in Barney. “He was filled with fire and passion for his coaching,” says Gomez of Barney. “He’s an energetic dude. He was ready to get after it each day. He would hold you accountable. That’s what you want from a coach.” At Munster, Gomez played for Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Bob Shinkan. “That guy’s got a huge heart,” says Gomez of Shinkan. “He cares about his players down deep.” After Gomez finished college, Shinkan allowed him to help coach at his alma mater. “I have a lot of gratitude for him,” says Gomez of Shinkan. “He allowed me to help on staff and run workouts. “I thought I’d be an actuary, but he helped put me on my current path.” Looking back to Vincennes, Gomez was throwing a bullpen during his freshman year when his back lock up on him. It turned out to be a bulging disk and kept him from playing. “I lost my passion for the game,” says Gomez, who decided to follow his original plan and told Barney he was transferring to Ball State University to be a student only and begin working toward an Actuarial Science degree and Computer Science minor. Then George Bizoukas — longtime Highland American Legion Post 180 manager — let Gomez know that he was still age-eligible to play for his team that summer. Gomez, who split his last two high school summers between Post 180 between the Downers Grove, Ill.-based Longshots Baseball, decided to give playing another try. “George allowed me to have fun with the game,” says Gomez. “Without him I don’t know if I’m in the position I am now. “It went phenomenal. I decided ‘I’m back.’ I’m going to work as hard as I can the rest of the summer and go to (Ball State) walk-on trials. After seeing Gomez throw about 10 pitches in the bullpen, Cardinals coach Rich Maloney called the lefty that night letting him know he had made the team. Gomez redshirted in the spring of 2014 and made one mound appearance in 2015 before being cut. “Coach Maloney is someone I really respect,” says Gomez. “He’s a straight shooter. I was not meeting the expectations. I could be considered as a waste of a roster spot. “(Maloney) is a phenomenal culture coach. We had an awesome tight-knit group (as 2014 Mid-American Conference champions). I still keep in-touch with those guys.” Gomez grew up in northwest Indiana with a talent for baseball. His 15U summer (between freshmen and sophomore year), he played with the 17U Indiana Breakers. “I made varsity the next year,” says Gomez. “I credit that to playing 17U ball as a freshman.” In the summer of 2010, Gomez was on the Ed Woolwine-coached 16U Indiana Prospects. Then came the two summers with the Rob Rooney-coached Longshots and Highland Post 180. At PRP Baseball, Gomez spends the bulk of his time on the throwing floor. He estimates that there are close to 300 athletes just in the youth and high school groups. Gomez is also in charge of running a remote service that currently has about 25 players. They send him weekly videos of them throwing, lifting etc., and they talk on Zoom and phone calls. “It’s all about communication,” says Gomez. “I can’t coach what I can’t see.” Anthony is the son of Edward Gomez and Karyn Condes and has two sisters and two brothers. His father played soccer at Indiana University. His stepfather is Michael Condes.
“We don’t play baseball in the frontal plane,” says Vogt, who recently hosted the first PRP Bridge The Gap Clinic in Noblesville. “We rotate. We turn. We store energy and release it through rotation.
“(We must) train those movements and learn to resist rotation. Anything you press straight up or straight forward can develop strength but may not directly affect our performance. It doesn’t mean that it’s not important.
“We do a lot of core and stability work to make sure we’re stable in our trunk.”
Vogt, who trains players from youth to professional, says baseball players must learn how to properly hinge with their hips and glute muscles, control breathing, stabilize and extend during building strength.
“Our advanced athletes are typically much more controlled and stable in their movement sequences from their weight room and throwing development,” says Vogt. “Hinging and squatting are a lot different even though the squat should start with a hinge.”
In explaining the hinge, Vogt says to consider standing straight up right in front of a wall and pushing one’s back side into the wall.
“I want to get my chin in front of my belly button and my butt behind my heels,” says Vogt. “Everything we do in baseball is out of the hinge. Being strong in a hinge allows you to rotate your hips more explosively.
“When I’m standing straight up, I can’t turn my hips away from my shoulders very quickly. When I’m in a hinge, I can.”
This movement happens when a pitcher is loading with his leg lift or a hitter when he takes the bat back and begins his load.
“We’re not falling or drifting forward,” says Vogt. “We’re not falling back. If you start to leak your shoulders forward toward your target, your arm’s going to be late. We try to get guys to lead their movement with their back hip and rotate hips before trunk to create that whip of the arm or barrel.”
Athletes need to learn how to control their breath — during training just as they do in a game.
While lifting, they breath in on the way down and breath out on the way up.
“Most guys are holding breath and hoping they don’t fall or don’t drop the weight,” says Vogt, who was a pitcher at Carmel (Ind.) High School and Anderson (Ind.) University and has coached at the high school and travel baseball levels. “If we’re doing a dumbbell goblet squat, take a big inhale on the way down and exhale that breath on the way up.”
“Tempo is also important. A lot to guys move way too quickly in the eccentric phase. I doubt
they’re getting full range of motion, controlling the movement, and they’re sacrificing
PRP Baseball clients do many variations of the Palloff Press, which requires the athlete to hold resistance from rotating. This helps to build stabilization.
“We want to build our anti-rotation stability so we can learn to rotate at the last absolute second,” says Vogt. “(The best players) can resist rotation better than others to create more whip.”
Vogt says that more ground force leads to more stability.
The trap bar deadlift is one exercise that helps transfer the ground force up the kinetic chain by strengthening the lower half and the core.
“We’ll do a lot of single-leg strengthening for ground force because as a pitcher we’re in a split stance,” says Vogt. “We reverse lunge and lateral lunge frequently. Back-squatting and front-squatting are very popular for ground force as well.”
Vogt has found that more ground force can lead to more velocity for throwers.
“The trap bar deadlift is a little more quad-dominant,” says Vogt. “The straight bar deadlift, because the bar is in front of you, requires a little more lower back, hips and glutes. They’re both great in what they train. You’re going to get something from both of them.
“It’s harder for athletes that we don’t get to see very consistently or very often (at PRP) to teach them really good technique and also get heavier in weight with a trap bar. The trap bar is a little easier to teach. We start there and will progress to the straight bar with some of our advanced guys who can handle it.”
Vogt is a believer in progression while training were each level gets harder and more advanced.
“We have 13-year-olds that will go from push-up to banded push-up to bench press,” says Vogt. “We don’t want to put them under the barbell and say ‘let’s figure it out.’ We start with more
foundational movements that they’re used to doing and progress in difficulty as they get better.”
Another concept that Vogt addresses is volume vs. strength.
“This time of year (October and November) we should be working toward the volume (more reps, more sets),” says Vogt. “We’re working on hypertrophy (size and muscle mass).”
Adding more volume can add more size if you’re training it right, including the proper diet.
In December, the phase changes from volume to attacking strength levels (lower the reps and increasing the weight).
About late January or early February comes the power phase (moving the weight fast) to develop explosiveness for arm speed, bat speed, and more.
“Usually the off-season should have a volume phase, a strength phase, and a power phase,” says Vogt, who does his training out of Finch Creek Fieldhouse in Noblesville.
Vogt says rotational sport athletes must learn how to do specific things to perform in their sport.
“We will see well over 100 athletes this off-season and we often see that most do not stabilize the trunk or overhead extension well,” says Vogt. “This can lead to more arm injuries, leaks in the kinetic chain, and poor mechanics.
“Mechanics are often a bi-product of your capabilities in the weight room with ground force, stabilization, and core control.”
Palloff Press Variations.
Loop Band Hip Circuits
Romanian Deadlift (RDL).
Alternating DB Press.
Side Plank Variations.
How you program these workouts within the weekly schedule is key.
Vogt advises that your exercise bank preach more baseball-specific movements around general strength training to ensure that movement in the proper positions transfers to on-field performance. He listed some exercises to add in below.
More Key Exercises:
TRX Overhead Raise to Reverse Fly.
TRX SA Rollouts.
1/2 Kneeling Windmills.
Turkish Get Up.
2DB Incline Row/Trap Bar Row.
Split Stance Uphill Single Arm Rows.
Landmine Row to Press.
TRX Oblique Crunches.
Stability Ball Planks.
Loop Band I’s.
Loop Band Fire Hydrants.
Greg Vogt is the founder of PRP (Passion Resilience Process) Baseball and trains athletes from youth to professional at Finch Creek Fieldhouse in Noblesville, Ind. (PRP Baseball Photo)
Vogt also spent the off-season working with Clayton Richard (Toronto Blue Jays) and Josh Lindblom (Korean Baseball Organization) on developing movement patterns, pitch design and on-ramping for the season.
Lindblom won the KBO version of the Cy Young Award in 2018.
The oldest son of fitness pros Kevin and Tammy Vogt, Greg excelled in high school and college with his drive and desire to be the best he could be. At 5-foot-10 with an 82 mph fastball, he was always trying to gain a competitive edge.
“The work ethic and training component almost came easy to me,” says Vogt. “I was born into it.
“There’s not a coach or teammate I’ve ever played for or with that wouldn’t say I’m the most competitive person on the field.”
Even seven years after he threw his last collegiate pitch, Vogt will join in workouts with his players and try to strike them out.
“I challenged them as much as I could,” says Vogt. “I’ll tried to get after it. I want them to see that I care and that I believe in it.”
Vogt says his players have to believe in themselves to get to reach their goals — be that making the high school varsity or playing collegiate baseball or moving up in the professional ranks.
“We’re getting kids to throw harder and make better pitches — all that good stuff,” says Vogt. “But if they’re always working behind in the count and not throwing with conviction, you can’t use it.”
Vogt says Dunshee is successful because he’s not self-defeating.
“He’s never had plus stuff,” says Vogt of Dunshee, who pitched at Zionsville High School and Wake Forest University before pro ball. “He just doesn’t lose. He’s the best golfer. He’s the best basketball player. He was an all-state quarterback.
“It doesn’t matter what he does, he’s very competitive and he’s good at it. He doesn’t give up a whole lot because he doesn’t beat himself. If I could have every pitcher that I work with have that mentality there would be a lot of guys having success in high school, college and professional baseball.”
Vogt looks to help his PRP clients become well-rounded by providing them with the resources to get better physically and between the ears.
“I’ve seen several kids who are very talented but don’t have that mental game and are prepared for failure in baseball let alone if something goes on outside of baseball,” says Vogt. “A lot of these guys gave trainers that can make them better physically.
“I’ve worked with some very talented arms. I’ve worked with some very talented athletes. The separator is always the mental side. How hard do they work when no one’s watching?. How well do they do when they’re failing?. How do they transition from having a terrible day to they’re great the next day?.
“The kids that are good at everything may not be an exceptional athlete and have exceptional velocity yet, but they mold into a better college kid.”
Besides the baseball skills and strength/agility training, Vogt has his players read books to help them develop the right mindset. Some of his favorite authors/motivators are Justin Dehmer (1-Pitch Warror), Brian Cain (Mental Performance Mastery), Dr. Alan Goldberg (Competitive Advantage) and Todd Gongwer (Lead … for God’s Sake!).
Vogt asks his players about their take on certain points in the books. Mental sessions also cover in-game strategy.
An example: With a left-handed hitter at the plate and a runner on first base, a pitcher is asked to consider like the likelihood of a sacrifice bunt and pitch selection based on what the hitter did in the previous at-bat and more.
“We challenge their psyche on thinking about the game,” says Vogt. “Coaches are calling pitches. Sometimes (pitchers) are not even thinking about what they should throw. They’re throwing what the catcher puts down.
“It’s the same thing in the batter’s box.This guy got me out on a slider away last time. He wasn’t afraid to use it. Does that change (this at-bat)?. On defense, there’s positioning and pitch-to-pitch routines.”
Greg was recruited to Anderson by the same man he who coached his father at that school in football. Don Brandon was a football assistant when Kevin Vogt went there and he convinced Greg Vogt to play baseball for him near the end of his Hall of Fame coaching career.
In fact, Vogt was the winning pitcher as a sophomore for Brandon’s 1,100th and final victory.
“Bama, he had a fire still,” says Vogt of Brandon. “He had a completely different approach than a lot of coaches I had. He would get on you, but he’d also let you fail (repeatedly) while you were learning.
“Whenever he talks, everybody listens. As players, we would run through a wall for him. We loved him.”
David Pressley was Anderson’s head coach at the end of Vogt’s playing days.
Vogt began coaching and giving private lessons while he was in college. He worked with the Indiana Pony Express travel organization. He’s also coached high school age players with the Indiana Baseball Academy Storm and then the Indiana Bulls.
His last game as a coach and before he devoted himself to the training business was the 2016 IHSAA Class 4A state championship, which the Eagles lost to Roncalli.
He has long coached younger brother, Zach Vogt. The Carmel senior has signed to play baseball at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky.
Always growing and adapting, Greg Vogt’s training methods have not stayed the same. They are different than when he was with Noblesville and Zionsville.
“We get set in our ways because we did them as players,” says Vogt. “If you do any training program, you’ll get benefits if you commit to it.
“But the best training program in the world won’t help if you’re only doing it one time a week. All the time you’re spending not training, you’re getting worse. Other guys are getting better because they’re working at it everyday.”
That’s not to say that players are with Vogt all week, but they can take the program with them.
Vogt also wants them to come away more than baseball. He wants them to be better people.
“I want the kids to throw 100 mph. I want them to hit bombs in every at-bat. But this game’s cruel. Injuries happen. Some kids aren’t as gifted. Some kids aren’t as willing to work as hard.
“But maybe there is something else they can take from me?.”
Greg and wife Whitney began dating in high school. The couple have two sons — Parker (3) and Griffen (1).
PRP’s “Bridge the Gap” Coaches Conference is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, July 8-9 at Finch Creek Fieldhouse. Attendees will learn more about player development, recruiting, athlete programming and technology from some of the top college coaches in the Midwest.