When you talk shop with Michigan’s Chris Fetter, it doesn’t take long to understand why he is one of college baseball’s best pitching coaches — and also on the radar of numerous MLB clubs.
For starters, he likes to make the conversation less about himself and more about the players he coaches, or the craft of coaching in general. That selflessness and attention to detail is reflected throughout the Wolverine’s culture, which has become one of the most formidable programs in the NCAA over Fetter’s three year tenure.
“It all comes down to empowering players with information to better know who they are as a pitcher and what they are capable of doing with a baseball,” Fetter said. “Then we work with them to get away from the average — and find something they can do that hitters don’t see all that often.”
Led by Fetter’s outstanding pitching staff, the Wolverines finished as national runner-up in the 2019 College World Series. That year, Michigan led the Big Ten in ERA. Unfortunately, the pandemic robbed them of a chance to get chase that final step — a world series title — in 2020.
Still, Fetter’s impact on his players is seen in the MLB draft. Four Wolverines pitchers were selected in the shortened first year player draft.
“We want to keep pushing the envelope and keep developing pitchers who know who they are. By knowing who they are, they have more confidence to know what they can do in the game of baseball,” Fetter said.
It’s not just the pitchers who have impressed people at the next level. Fetter himself has become an often talked about candidate to coach at the MLB level. But for now, he’s just enjoying the success he’s having at his alma mater.
“There’s obviously a market for people who can translate the data and make it actionable,” Fetter said. “But at the same time, Michigan has a special place in my heart. And the athletes…getting to share my experience with them and getting to see them enjoy a place that I love so much, it’s a special connection.”
You can check out Seth and BP’s entire conversation with Chris Fetter on the latest episode of the Rapsodo Baseball Podcast.