Every fall, the Michigan baseball program holds a series of intrasquad competitions and activities called the Omaha Challenge. A few years ago, when one dodgeball team was short a player, the entire roster knew the perfect fill-in: Student manager Hunter Satterthwaite.
Satterthwaite primarily handled data collection and analysis as a student employee, but he acquitted himself well on the dodgeball court, too.
“He just jumped into the activity,” Michigan coach Erik Bakich said. “I’ll never forget that.”
Satterthwaite and another legendary program alumnus, right-hander Mac Lozer, are now back in Ann Arbor to serve as director of baseball operations and data analytics and program assistant, respectively. Since starting work in August, they’ve already improved the Wolverines’ preeminent player development, data and analytics departments.
Lozer, who graduated in 2017 with a degree in liberal arts and sciences, holds the program record for appearances with 100. He struck out 94 batters and held opponents to a .196 batting average.
“He was maybe the most reliable, consistent reliever,” Bakich said. “We would use him 25 times a year.”
Lozer was selected by the New York Mets in the 33rd round of the 2017 MLB draft. After playing in the Mets’ farm system for two years, he retired as a player and worked for the Los Angeles Dodgers in player-development and coaching capacities.
The program assistant position was last held by Ryan Chipka in 2019 before it was frozen in response to the presence of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s a position that has been unfrozen recently,” Bakich said. “It was great to get that position back because that person adds a tremendous amount of value for us.”
Lozer will handle program logistics and help with player development.
Satterthwaite, who graduated in 2020 with a degree in data science, replaces former director of baseball operations Wayne R. Welton. In 2021, Satterthwaite worked at HF Software Solutions and continued his work with the program.
By analyzing data and writing computer programs, he will help the coaching staff coach players more efficiently. Players undergo monthly physical tests and the results are made into customized training plans. Satterthwaite has already written a program that “weaponizes” these plans, Bakich said, by making them interactive and accessible from mobile devices.
“To have a guy like that, who can take complex terms and find this simplicity on the other side of complexity, it’s been great,” Bakich said.
Player development is a large focus of the Michigan baseball program. Bakich is a talented and hardworking recruiter, but has pulled in only one top-10 recruiting class during his time here. But through careful development of overlooked high-school players, such as Jordan Nwogu, Jack Blomgren and Tommy Henry, the Wolverines have made regular appearances in the NCAA tournament and have produced more than two dozen MLB draft picks during Bakich’s tenure.
After making positive marks on the program as students, Lozer and Satterthwaite will try to guide Michigan back to Omaha by improving players and coaches.