John Sickels has released his preliminary grades for the Reds’ top twenty prospects, and it’s a fascinating list. Go read the entire piece, as the actual grades and analysis of the individual players is the most interesting part, but here’s the conclusion:

This system is in good shape with a super-elite Grade A pitching prospect, four Grade B+ position players who all project as regulars for me, and then a big batch of B-/C+ types who have a chance to contribute. Some of the later guys (Lotzkar, most of the Latin American guys) have the potential for higher grades next year but have some sort of question or issue to deal with right now.

The Reds put a lot into finding power-hitting Latin American players but they all seem to have the same weakness with poor strike zone judgment. Mesoraco and Grandal give them the luxury of having two elite catching prospects. The pitching after Chapman is thinner, although there is significant raw material at the lower levels that could look really nice a year from now.

Sounds good to me.