Chronological list of top rookie seasons in Phillies history
Lonnie Smith (1980, left field, ROY voting: 3rd)
Smith spent minimal time with the Phillies in 1978 and 1979 as a young, speedy outfielder. He appeared in 34 games during that time, going 5-for-34 with six stolen bases in seven attempts. Smith blossomed during his rookie season in 1980, hitting .339 with 33 stolen bases in 100 games. In doing so, Smith received enough votes to finish third for Rookie of the Year.
The following season, Smith hit .324 with 21 stolen bases in 60 games. Despite showing some promise, he was traded in November of 1981 for pitcher Lary Sorensen and eventually landed the Phillies catcher Bo Diaz. Smith was an All-Star in 1982 and second in MVP voting, hitting .307 with a league-leading 120 runs scored and 68 stolen bases. He had another outstanding season in 1983, hitting .321 with 43 stolen bases and swiped 50 in 1984.
Smith was traded to the Royals during the 1985 season and hit .333 in the World Series against his former team, leading the Royals to a seven-game upset. After another solid season in 1986, Smith’s playing time dropped to just 167 at-bats in 1987 before signing with the Braves in 1988.
Smith rebounded in 1989 to hit .315 with career highs in home runs (21) and RBI (79), while leading the league in on-base percentage at .415. He surpassed the .300 mark again in 1990 and played with the Braves through the 1992 season.
He saw limited playing time with the Pirates and Orioles in 1993 and 1994 before retiring with 1488 hits, a .288 average and 370 stolen bases.