- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
• Baltimore Orioles shortstop/third baseman Manny Machado blasted a pair of home runs Wednesday, giving him six in 45 games. Machado, 20, isn't getting on base at a high clip, but that can be forgiven given his age. The power reminds us of the immense upside. Owned in 36.6 percent of leagues, Machado isn't a must-own this month, but he will be in high demand in 2013. Just remember, he will have only third-base eligibility and won't be a top-10 option there.
• Texas Rangers lefty Martin Perez, only 21 himself, didn't enjoy his Wednesday game as much. Perez retired only two Athletics in the first inning and was ultimately charged with five runs on six hits. Perez has made five starts so far, and this was by far his worst outing. Overall, in 34 big league innings Perez has been too hittable and hasn't missed enough bats. Avoid him in his final outing and in 2013 drafts.
• Fellow rookie Wade Miley, an Arizona Diamondbacks lefty, seems to be running out of gas. Miley allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits over four innings Wednesday, raising his September ERA to 5.90 and his September WHIP to 1.72. Miley has thrived much of the season, with 16 wins and a 3.32 ERA, and could still bring home NL top rookie honors, but benching or cutting him in fantasy before his final outing seems wise.
• Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak used to be a top hitting prospect, but even after homering Wednesday night off Angels lefty C.J. Wilson and having hit a pair of homers Tuesday, fantasy owners will be skeptical. Smoak, 25, is hitting .212 this season. The 19 home runs offer hope for his future, but the switch hitter doesn't make enough contact and boasts an awful .532 OPS at Safeco Field (.750 OPS on the road). If you need pop, he could provide it in the final week, but don't expect many hits.
• As for an older fellow, St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter allowed two runs over six innings in Houston on Wednesday, his second capable outing since missing most of the season with nerve/shoulder woes. Carpenter, 37, is scheduled to face the Cincinnati Reds next week, and he's a reasonable fantasy option still available in 40 percent of standard leagues. As for next year, keep expectations low due to age and injury risk.
Eric Karabell has the fantasy highlights and lowlights from Wednesday's games, including big games from Manny Machado and Justin Smoak and poor outings from rookies Martin Perez and Wade Miley.