JIMTOWN — Nick Floyd doesn't just hurl the baseball.
Thought goes behind every toss for the Jimtown High School senior.
"He's a very intelligent pitcher," said Jimmies head coach Darin Mast of the Ball State University-bound Floyd. "Every pitch he throws has a purpose. I haven't seen too many people like that."
Mast said Floyd's impeccable control and command help his teammates relax.
"They can just play, knowing if we scratch out a few runs we're probably going to win," Mast said. "It's a confidence factor."
Floyd, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-hander, uses his ability to mix five pitches to get hitters out. Given the situation, that might be a strikeout or a groundout.
He had 78 strikeouts in 2014 to lead all pitchers in The Elkhart Truth area. His earned run average was among the best at 1.65.
Using a two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball, circle change-up, straight curveball and, now, a change-up, Floyd keeps the opposition guessing.
"I really believe keeping hitters off-balance is more important than throwing it as hard as you can," he said. "I'm working on making sure all my pitches are sharper this year."
Why add the slider?
"It's on a different plain than a curveball," Floyd said. While the curveball breaks more 12 to 6 o'clock, the slider is a "swing and miss" pitch. "It's a two-strike, ahead-in-the-count pitch."
While Floyd has not been clocked off the mound this spring, his velocity was 84 to 86 mph last fall and he has been known to hit the low 90s.
"I think he's the complete package, not only pitching but hitting for us and in the field," Mast said. "He's a great baseball player and he's a great athlete."
When not pitching, Floyd is likely to play first base or third base and hit third or fourth in the Jimtown batting order. Last spring he hit .382 and drove in 25 runs.
Floyd and his Jimtown teammates will be vying this season for a fourth straight Northern State Conference title in the NSC's final season (the league is breaking up after 2014-15 and Jimtown is heading to the Northern Indiana Conference).
Floyd is part of a Jimmies mound staff with all its innings back from 2014 and a squad that lost just two seniors plus junior Trevor Hobbs (basketball injury).
Before heading off to NCAA Division I college baseball, Hobbs will try to get stronger and hopes to carry around 200 pounds on his frame by the time he joins the Ball State Cardinals.
"I'll have to get stronger to compete as a freshman," said Floyd. "Everyone is a grown man in college."
Floyd said he is considering a major in either sports medicine or sports management.