Texas Rangers appoint Mike Franco and Al Sandoval to Major League staff

Franco hired as mental skills coach; Sandoval promoted to assistant strength and conditioning coach

December 22nd, 2020

Arlington, Texas -- The Texas Rangers today announced the appointments of Mike Franco and Al Sandoval to their Major League staff.

Franco, who joins the Rangers from the Dallas Mavericks, has been hired as the team’s new Major League Mental Skills Coach. Sandoval, who has worked in the Texas’ minor league system for the last four years, has been promoted to Major League Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. 

Franco has spent the last two years working as a mental skills coach for the Mavericks and their G-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. He has overseen the implementation and development of the mental skills program for the Legends’ players and staff while also having extensive duties and responsibilities with the Mavericks. With Dallas, Franco worked with Mavericks Director of Mental Skills Don Kalkstein, who served in that position with the Rangers from 2012-18.  

A graduate of Sonoma State University, Franco received his MA in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. Prior to joining the Mavericks, he worked in mental skills and sports psychology capacities with Play Present, UPBasketball, and Lucid Performance, and did private consulting with collegiate and professional athletes.

Franco assumes the role previously held by Josiah Igono, who resigned in October to pursue other opportunities.

Sandoval served as a strength and conditioning coach at the Rangers’ Alternate Training Site in 2020. He originally joined the Texas organization at High-A Down East in 2017 and spent the next two years at Triple-A, earning the Pacific Coast League’s Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award at Round Rock in 2018 and Nashville in 2019. Sandoval began in professional baseball career in 2009 and also has worked in the Colorado and Los Angeles Angels player development systems.

Sandoval replaces Rob Fumagalli, who left the organization this fall to join the Cincinnati Reds.