Topping the 100-hit mark during a high school career is something to marvel at.
Dylan Maiden cruised past that mark and did it in three seasons, though his final two seasons at Cabrillo were truly something to marvel at.
The elite lead-off man was thrust into the fire as a sophomore at Cabrillo, playing 31 games and hitting just .241. He notched 20 hits that year, driving in eight runs and scoring 10 more on his own.
How did he follow that up during his junior season in 2015? Well, Maiden basically doubled his output and his average.
Maiden hit .436 that year, smacking 44 hits in 101 at-bats. He set the table for the Cabrillo offense that year, scoring 35 runs and driving in 15 more. He had nine doubles and five triples.
The infielder followed that up with another stellar season in 2016, finishing the year with a .427 average. He had 41 hits in 96 at-bats with 28 runs, 10 RBIs, six doubles and eight triples. He had 85 hits in two seasons and finished his career with 105.
Maiden has been selected as a Player of the Decade finalist.
During Maiden's senior season, he drew 21 walks and struck out just six times. For his career, he drew 46 walks while striking out 36 times. He had a .534 on-base percentage in 2016, and finished his career with a .474 OBP. He also slugged .528 for his career, making for a 1.003 career OPS.
"It really wasn't fair," former teammate Philip Martin once said of Maiden's ability at the plate. "He was always on base. He was always a threat. It was more than the batting average and the walks. It was definitely something in the pitcher's head."
Maiden and Martin helped Cabrillo win the Los Padres League title in their senior season as Jonathan Osborne, Cabrillo's then longtime coach, was named the All-Area Coach of the Year.
Maiden was named the Los Padres League MVP in 2016. He was also counted on to pitch for the Conquistadores throughout his career there. He filled that role nicely, throwing 113 innings in three seasons. He went 12-4 with a 1.49 ERA.
Maiden went 4-1 with a 1.22 ERA as a sophomore, throwing two complete games. He followed that up with a junior season that saw him compile a 5-3 record and a 2.04 ERA over 37 2/3 innings. He took on more of a relief role as a senior, going 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 29 1/3 innings, throwing two complete games in three starts.
Maiden was voted the Times' All-Area Utility Player of the Year in 2016. He also stole 16 bases his senior year.
In his first season at Hancock, Maiden hit .270 with 27 hits, three doubles, two triples, a home run and 20 RBIs. He also scored 22 times. He hit .328 in 2018 with 20 hits in 61 at-bats, scoring 17 times and driving in eight more runs. He was third on the team in innings pitch in 2018, going 3-3 over eight starts and 48 2/3 innings pitched.
The Times is polling current and former coaches to develop its list of nominees for Player of the Decade. A tournament-style voting contest will then be held to determine the Player of the Decade. Readers will be able to vote online at santamariatimes.com; lompocrecord.com and syvnews.com. Players from Northern Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County whose final seasons where between 2010 and 2020 are eligible.
Maiden is the first nominee from Cabrillo High. He joins the list of previous nominees, including Nipomo High grads Ryan and Jeff McNeil; Lucas Martin, a left-hander from Lompoc; Pioneer Valley grad Chad De La Guerra; former Santa Maria High star Trevor Garcia; Santa Ynez grads Tommy Rowan and Zach Torra; Righetti grad Troy Prober and fellow former Arroyo Grande stars Kyle Raubinger and Ryan Teixeira.