Was There a Structural Break in Barry Bonds’ Bat?
We utilize time series tests to investigate if Barry Bonds’ batting has a deterministic or stochastic trend and to test if structural breaks occur. Bonds’ monthly on base percentage plus slugging percentage (OPS) is examined from 1986 to 2007. We find that Bonds’ OPS is stationary around two level and trend breaks. We find that Bonds’ OPS initially follows a positive trend to the age of 28.9 (June 1993), which coincides roughly with the expected peak performance age (27.6) for a MLB batter as identified by Fair (2008). Following this break, we find that Bonds’ OPS was on a plateau until a second break in September 2000. At this point, at the age of 36.1, Bonds’ OPS jumps up unexpectedly and declines slowly thereafter until his retirement in September 2007 at age 43. Key Words: age-effects, peak performance, baseball, OPS, structural break
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