Jim Fregosi Jr., a member of the Kansas City Royals front office and scouting staff for more than a decade, including their back-to-back World Series appearances in 2014 and 2015, died on Thursday. He was 57.
Fregosi Jr. was a special assistant to the general manager for the Royals.
“Our entire organization is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jim Fregosi Jr.,” Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore said in a statement. “Jimmy was an amazing baseball man who had a passion and love for this game. His desire to compete, his strong conviction, and keen eye for players separated him as an evaluator. But above all, he was our friend and we shared all the ups and downs and great things this game has to offer. We will continue to cherish the great memories we have together.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary, Jimmy, Katelyn, and Joey.”
Fregosi suffered a heart attack. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale first reported the heart-wrenching news via Twitter.
Fregosi, a longtime scout, was a trusted voice for Moore, particularly with respect to evaluating potential acquisitions.
The son of former MLB player and manager Jim Fregosi Sr., Fregosi Jr. grew up around the game and had been involved in professional baseball for more than 30 years.
Jim Sr. died in 2014 after a 53-year career in professional baseball.
Fregosi Jr. joined the Royals in October 2011 after 17 years working for the Philadelphia Phillies as an area scout, cross checker and major-league scout. He also had a two-year stint with the Colorado Rockies (1999-2000) that briefly interrupted his tenure with the Phillies. He returned to the Phillies in 2001.
“The Phillies are saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Fregosi Jr. Jim brought a passionate, fun-loving attitude to the Phillies scouting department for 17 years, and made an equal impact on the club with his incredible baseball acumen,” the Phillies said in a statement. “Jim was a great friend and mentor to many and will be sorely missed. The Phillies’ thoughts and prayers are with the entire Fregosi family during this difficult time.”
Fregosi, a native of Inglewood, Calif., was an All-American shortstop at the University of New Mexico and a second-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985. He spent six seasons as a player in the minors before he became a scout.
He’s survived by his wife, Mary, and their three children: Jimmy, Katelyn and Joey.