I'd written a draft of this awhile ago and saved it because I had planned to add more. But I'm not going to so I'll go ahead and throw it out there now, as is, for anyone interested.
Just wanted to throw this out there for those who are fuzzy on the art of maximizing ratings bumps.
- Ratings can increase up to 6 times a season, though 4-5 is more likely. The approximate schedule is: 1) after Spring Training(ST), 2-5)after every 30 games of the big league season. You may initiate a bump of your own by promoting a player to a higher level, but that won't be an additional bump. It will simply take the place of one of the 30-game bumps. And this bump won't happen at all if not timed in the neighborhood of the 30-game bump.
- The ST bump is dependent on your major leaguers getting enough at bats/innings(there's much debate about how much = enough). Minor leaguers in the lower levels of the system don't need ST playing time to get the increase. Dudes in the upper levels of the system, or who those who are four years or more into their career, may or may not get any ST boost. And, of course, big leaguers who are 27 or older may or may not get any boost at any time.
- During the season, only skill ratings will increase(for batters: contact, vsL, vsR, batting eye, baserunning. for fielders: glove, arm accuracy, for pitchers: control, vsL, vsR, pitches, etc.). Ratings for a player's strength and body happen when the season rollover is completed(arm strength, health, stamina, power, durability, velocity, etc.).
- Minor leaguers increase steadily over the first 4 years of the career, then the bumps slow down considerably.
- Major league bump increases slow down if they are over 22 years of age, especially if they are at least four seasons(major or minor) into their career.
- A demotion/promotion may or may not result in a ratings hit.