It has been brought up a couple times recently on the FSN broadcasts and it is a good point that we have not given enough attention ourselves. Coming into play today, Franklin Gutierrez has seen an average of 4.45 pitches per plate appearance. Over 139 PAs, that's not nothing as far as sample sizes go.
Franklin was at 4.10 last year which ranked fourth on the team behind Jack Hannahan, Wladimir Balentien and Russell Branyan. He's currently at a mark that puts him among the top ten in all of baseball for hitters with at least 75 PAs thus far.
Obviously the overall offensive package has been stellar from Gutierrez, but even with the recent spike in strikeouts, his 2010 rates are barely above 2009. He is at 22.3% this year and was at 19.4% last year. Over 600 trips to the plate, that would be a difference of seventeen strikeouts. That's not much. His jump in walk rate from 6.8% to 11.5% however, is. That portends an additional 28 walks per 600 PAs.
Franklin's BABIP is due to regress and his average is probably not going to stay above .300 all season long. We knew he had probably peaked in average and power last year and so far he's doing well enough by just maintaining those rates. That he has decided to add in drawing 70 walks instead of 45 with no apparent loss anywhere else is just fantastic news. Even with the expected regression in his defensive numbers, Franklin Gutierrez is on pace to surpass his 2009 WAR total and post another 6+ win season.