Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has been named USA Today's Minor League Player of the Year for his work dismantling Double- and Triple-A pitching this season, reports Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today.
Bogaerts hit .297/.388/.477 with 15 home runs in 116 games between Portland and Pawtucket while playing solid defense up the middle, ultimately earning himself a promotion to the big leagues at the end of August. He has carried that success with him to the Red Sox so far, notching six hits in his first 20 plate appearances.
While the Aruban's numbers are impressive on their own, they become even more so when you consider that he's still just 20 years old; Bogaerts was one of the younger players in the Eastern League and by far the youngest in the International League. He is also the youngest player to suit up for the Red Sox since Dwight Evans way back in 1972.
As his age makes evident, Bogaerts' ascension through the Red Sox system has been rapid. Signed as an international free agent in 2010, the young shortstop needed just two-plus seasons stateside before making it to the big leagues, posting an OPS over 800 at every stop along the way.
Bogaerts has been splitting time at shortstop and third base for Boston this season, but is expected to move to short full-time next year with Stephen Drew likely leaving via free agency.