PORTLAND – Just over two years ago, Drew Hutchison was pitching for the Lakeland (Fla.) High School Dreadnaughts. Then he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays.

While you may be wondering what a Dreadnaught is, Toronto followers were asking at the time what the Jays were doing, giving a 15th-round draft pick a $400,000 signing bonus.

Now they know.

Hutchison is another top pitching prospect coming through the Blue Jays system. He showed his stuff Sunday afternoon, leading a group of New Hampshire Fisher Cats pitchers to a 7-0 shutout of the Portland Sea Dogs.

Portland managed only two hits — a third-inning Ryan Dent infield pop-up that the Fisher Cats misplayed and allowed to drop, and a Mitch Dening triple to lead off the ninth.

With Dening on third, two Sea Dogs struck out before Jeremy Hazelbaker grounded out. New Hampshire’s five pitchers struck out 11 and walked none.

“You have to tip your cap to their pitchers,” Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said. “But, overall, we lacked balance in our approach.”

The Fisher Cats swatted three homers to give Charlie Haeger (4-1) his first loss.

The defeat ensured that these Sea Dogs (59-82) will have the worst record in franchise history. The first Sea Dogs team finished 60-81 in 1994, with their final game rained out.

The Fisher Cats (76-65) keep winning with an impressive roster of prospects.

Hutchison, who just turned 21, was projected to be picked in the early rounds of the draft in 2009, coming out of Lakeland, Fla., where he starred for the Dreadnaughts (which is an early 20th century battleship, by the way).

But Hutchinson was considered a gamble to draft because he appeared headed to college on scholarship.

The Blue Jays gave him enough money to cover college, plus the signing bonus, and Hutchinson has not disappointed. He began the season in low Class A, was soon promoted to advanced Class A, and is now 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA in three Double-A starts.

“The kid comes up with us and shows that he belong here,” New Hampshire catcher Yan Gomes said. “We just pounded fastballs all day and, when we got ahead, he used his slider.”

Dent’s pop-up, five feet in front of home plate, was the only baserunner against Hutchinson.

“We had a miscommunication,” Gomes said.

“I completely lost it.”

The teams meet again today at 1 p.m. for the final game of the season.

NOTES: Catcher Dan Butler has been promoted to Pawtucket, the Triple-A club announced, although the Sea Dogs would not confirm it. Butler will replace former Sea Dogs catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who is scheduled to be promoted to Boston today. Also, Haeger is also considered a candidate for promotion as Pawtucket prepares for the International League playoffs.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

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Twitter: ClearTheBases