The Question: Are 3 year trending production results significant?

The following analysis is based strictly on the 3 year trend performance of each player. Although the statistical significance of the 3 consecutive year trending players is questionable due to the small sample sizes, you will see that some of the results are overwhelmingly one sided, lending some credence to their relevancy. The production is measured using our Fantasy Production Indicator (FPI). 

Up-Trending Hitters

 Last year, a majority of the "up trending" 3 year players failed to reach the success of their previous season. In fact,  that's about the same result we've been finding every year since 1999.  Between 20-27% of players that are consistently improving over the previous 3 year stretch, continue that trend through their 4th season. The statistical results from the up trending players points to a reversal of the trend for batters!

Year after 3 consecutive Uptrend Seasons Percentage Continuing UpTrend
1999 27%
2000 25%
2001 26%
2002 20%
2003 25%
2004 23%
2005 25%

Conclusion: It's difficult to string 4 consecutive rising seasons,  we find that hitters reach a plateau within 3 or so full seasons...although many of the superior players will continue increase production on and off during their career, the explosive growth experienced early on....dissipates....and the odds of 4 consecutive rising seasons is significantly less than probable after a string of 3. There is a much higher likelihood of decline in those players over 30, below is a split of the players that fall into this category:

Up Trending 3+ YRS Age

 Are you a betting man?

Criag Biggio 40

 5 out of 6 of these players are very unlikely to experience an increase in production this year as they all are considered to be outside of the optimal Age range.


Moises Alou 39
Ken Griffey Jr. 36
Mark Sweeney 32
David Dellucci 32
David Ortiz 30
Julio Lugo 29

 It's likely that 4 out of 7 of these players will not post another up trending fantasy production season. Although all are in the optimal age range, stringing 4 consecutive up trending seasons doesn't happen frequently.


Michael Young 29
Ryan Freel 29
Brian Roberts 28
Travis Hafner 28
Chone Figgins 28
Mark Teixeira 25

Down-Trending Hitters

On draft day, there we've jotted down a list of players that you should avoid based on sentimental value. These are player who have had 3 consecutive  "Dropping Production" seasons. Our research has shown that about 70% of the "over 30 years old" hitters continue the downtrend after 3 consecutive "Production Loss" seasons. (The sample size of the "under 29" is small and the results are inconclusive...thus we are limiting this area of the study to those over 29.)

Year after 3 consecutive Down-trend Seasons Percentage Continuing Down-Trend (>30)
1999 69%
2000 67%
2001 73%
2002 71%
2003 68%
2004 72%
2005 75%

Conclusion: Although some of the players listed below may have a slight pop up in performance, none are expected to come near the production that once made them superstars. So unless you can draft them at current valuations, they are not worth inflated prices.

Down Age  
Marquis Grissom 38

 Be very weary! Although some of these players  may improve slightly in 2005 based on the strength of their supporting cast, none will come near their peak production numbers.

Jeff Bagwell 37
Sammy Sosa 37
Bernie Williams 37
Mike Piazza 37
Jose Valentin 36
Scott Spiezio 33

All of the players to the left still have the potential to bounce back from their 2004 lows, but do consider that 3 out of 5 may not.


Brian Daubach 33
Magglio Ordonez 31
Vladimir Guerrero 29
Ramon Vazquez 29

Down-Trending Pitchers

60-70% of the "over 30" pitchers continue the downtrend after 3 consecutive "Production Loss" seasons.  The sample size of the "under 30" is small and the results are very inconclusive.

Year after 3 consecutive Downtrend Seasons Percentage Continuing Decline (>30)
1999 67%
2000 68%
2001 65%
2002 67%
2003 70%
2004 60%
2005 67%

Conclusion: A majority of the "over 30" down trending pitchers listed in the analysis below have been given notice to that they are likely to continue their fall from grace....and may be sold for glue.....

Down Trending AGE
Mike Remlinger 39

Most of the players listed to the left have earned their stripes and will continue to see adequate playing time. However their star has fallen considerably and we should not expect the numbers they once posted.


Greg Maddux 39
Mike Stanton 38
Troy Percival 36
Kirk Rueter 35
Felix Rodriguez 33
Matt Clement 31
Chad Bradford 31
Wade Miller 29

Many of the players to the left in yellow are coming off of arm injured seasons and with youth on their side they could reverse the trend.

Randy Wolf 29
Vicente Padilla 28
Mark Mulder 28
Jorge Julio 26
Byung-Hyun Kim 26


Up-Trending Pitchers

There was not enough of a sample, based on the criteria, to make an observation.


A Final Word

Please understand that some of the Down Trending players are still some of the best in the game at their respective position (ie. Mike Piazza - C ) however they may not be worth an over-inflated draft price, in fact they should be had at a discount. Also realize that some of the declining players are there because of injuries during the past few seasons, but that in itself is a cautionary concern.

Also consider that although players have been slowing declining with their overall average fantasy worth per plate appearance (FPI), players such as Vladimir Guerrero is still expected to produce 15% better than the average counterpart at his position this year.  Certainly he is still an asset on any fantasy team. 

In conclusion, it's difficult to pin point who will continue a trend from this analysis, and who will not. Our projections take much more information into account. As always, a whole lot of it depends on something we can not measure and that is..... desire (contact year, love of the game, etc). However taken as a whole, if I'm debating between two very similar players and one of them falls into one of the negative categories mentioned, then I will certainly side with the percentages. 


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