MINNEAPOLIS -- As far as Manny Acta is concerned, Casey Kotchman might as well be a shortstop playing first base.
Kotchman continues to play some of the most reliable first base defense in baseball. His .995 fielding percentage this season is the fourth-best among American League first basemen. The 29-year-old's sure-handedness is not a new development, either, as Kotchman has led all Major League first basemen in fielding percentage in each of the last four seasons.
What makes him so good?
"He's got shortstop hands and terrific instincts," said Acta. "He turns that 3-6-3 double play better than most of the people I've ever seen play first base. It starts with the feet ... the first throw to get the first out -- [he's] always good, strong feet and right on the money, and that's how the play develops. A lot of people are so methodical making that play."
Offensively, Kotchman's 12 home runs this year are his most since 2008. But his greatest value to the Indians clearly lies in his glove. His .998 career fielding percentage at first base is the best mark in Major League history.
"He's been good for a long time," Acta said.