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Bogaerts wins first Silver Slugger Award

Becomes youngest Red Sox player to be named top offensive player at position

Xander Bogaerts, who raised his batting average 80 points in one year, was rewarded with the American League's Silver Slugger at shortstop on Thursday.

It is the first Silver Slugger, presented by Louisville Slugger, for Bogaerts, and it comes in just his second full season in the Major Leagues.

2015 Awards coverage

Bogaerts was a presence for the Red Sox all season, hitting .320 with 196 hits, 35 doubles and three triples. The one element that was missing was power, as Bogaerts hit seven homers. But that should come soon.

"His entire game has improved dramatically," Red Sox manager John Farrell said recently. "Defensively, offensively, I just think he grew up after a year in which he was challenged and learned a lot about himself along the way."

Though it was a tough season for the Red Sox from a team standpoint, Bogaerts was a bright spot.

After helping the Red Sox win the World Series as a late-season callup in 2013, Bogaerts struggled offensively (.240 batting average) and defensively in '14.

But he raised his game in every way in '15.

Silver Slugger Award winners were determined by a vote of managers and coaches who named the players they felt were the best offensive producers at each position in both the American and National Leagues in 2015. They were not allowed to vote for players on their own teams.

Bogaerts is the third Red Sox shortstop to win a Silver Slugger since its inception in 1980, joining John Valentin (1995) and Nomar Garciaparra ('97).

At 23 years old, Bogaerts is the youngest Red Sox player to win a Silver Slugger at any position.

Ian Browne is a reporter for
Read More: Boston Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts