KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jim Fregosi Jr., a baseball All-American at New Mexico in 1985 and a special assistant in the Kansas City Royals’ front office has died. He was 57.
Fregosi, son of a longtime major league player and manager, died Thursday in Los Angeles, the Royals said. No cause of death was given.
Fregosi spent 17 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies as an area scout, scouting cross-checker and major league scout over two stints around time with the Colorado Rockies in 1999 and 2000. He joined the Royals after the 2011 season.
“Jimmy was an amazing baseball man who had a passion and love for this game,” Royals President of Baseball Operations Dayton Moore said in a statement. “His desire to compete, his strong conviction and keen eye for players separated him as an evaluator. But above all, he was our friend.”
Fregosi Jr. played at UNM from 1983-95, was a two-time (1984 and 1985) All-Western Athletic Conference performer, and holds the Lobos’ single-season records for runs and hits (both 86, set in 1985).
He was honored as a member of UNM’s team of the 1980s. Of him, UNM wrote:
“Fregosi, the son and namesake of the former Major League player and manager … had a brilliant three-year career at UNM. The two-time First Team All-WAC selection made it as a third baseman in 1984, but it was his unreal 1985 season that saw him set a slew of records that still hold to this day. Fregosi hit .445 as a junior in 1985, going 94-for-211 on the year, at the time the second-best mark in school history, and it’s still third over 36 years later. He set single-season marks in 1985 for runs (86), his on-base percentage of .547 is still second all-time, his mark of 12 triples is still second all-time, and his 180 total bases was second and is still fourth. …”
Taken by St. Louis with the 42nd overall pick in the 1985 amateur draft, Fregosi spent five seasons in the minor leagues with the Cardinals and Montreal Expos, advancing as high as Double-A.
He joined the Phillies in 1992. When he returned to Philadelphia, he spent seven years as amateur scouting coordinator, then became a major league scout after the 2008 season.
“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 baseball acumen,” the team said in a statement. “Jim was a great friend and mentor to many.”
Fregosi is survived by wife Mary, daughter Katelyn and sons Jimmy and Joey.
Jim Fregosi Sr., a six-time All-Star shortstop, managed the California Angels, Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. He died in 2014 at age 71.