finished the year splitting time with Matt Diaz. A good campaign is
crucial for Heyward, a potential franchise cornerstone.
Quote to note: Heyward's 2011 season "left plenty of people wondering if he was destined to be another Jeff Francoeur-like flash in the pan," wrote Paul Newberry, who covers the Braves for the
FREDDY GALVIS, 2B
Why him: After hitting .298 in 33 games last year at Triple A, Galvis was cemented as the shortstop of the future. But after Chase Utley's injury, Galvis begins 2012 as the second baseman of the present.
Quote to note: "Give Freddy a glove and he can play anywhere," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said.
JOSE REYES, SS
Why him: Is the biggest addition to a Marlins roster that underwent a thorough makeover. Reyes' arrival moved Hanley Ramirez to third base, an arrangement that Ramirez didn't love at first but seems to have embraced.
Quote to note: Reyes was asked to describe the Marlins' new stadium. "It's big like Citi Field," the former Met said. "There will be a lot of triples."
JOHAN SANTANA, LHP
Why him: He's the Mets' unquestioned ace – providing he's healthy. He missed all of 2011 after having shoulder surgery, and the Mets have been understandably cautious with him this spring. The two-time Cy Young winner will start the opener for New York.
Quote to note: "It's a process I have to go through until I establish everything at a high [pitch] count," Santana said. "You're going to have good and bad days. It's just the way it is."
- Ed Barkowitz