Back in April, the Boston Red Sox clubhouse was filled with promising players, but to the skeptic, this was young, unproven talent.

Noe Ramirez did not sound skeptical when he looked around the clubhouse before Boston’s home opener seven weeks ago. A reliever who has since been up and down between the majors and minors, Ramirez has moved up with several players now entrenched at Fenway Park.

“This is a pretty special group,” said Ramirez, who pitched for the Portland Sea Dogs in 2013 and 2014. “It’s a good time for youth in the organization.”

Look at the outfield of Blake Swihart, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts. The left side of the infield features Xander Bogaerts and Travis Shaw. Christian Vazquez squats comfortably behind the plate.

Starting with Bradley coming to Portland in the second half of 2012, all these players are recent graduates of Boston’s minor league system.

“We won in the minors and we wanted to keep winning here,” Betts said.

Oh, if only it was that simple. Good junior varsity players don’t always mean varsity champions.

Yet this Red Sox lineup is playing superb defense while dominating American League offensive statistics. With the help of a couple of old Sea Dogs, Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez (both 2005), and a 40-year-old designated hitter who doesn’t realize he’s past his prime, the Red Sox are rolling.

Boston’s combined on-base percentage and slugging average (OPS) is .846, 80 points higher than any other team in the American League.

The way Boston continually mashes the ball has Manager John Farrell not only wearing out the word “relentless” but causes him to think in historical terms.

“You combine their performance and what they’re doing as a team, as a unit,” Farrell said, searching for words. “We may have a chance to look back in time … this is a pretty special group of players right now. The blend of veterans, young players is there.

“The core group of young players, you look at how skilled they are. This is a unique lineup right now.”

Bogaerts and Bradley are in the top four in the AL in batting. Six of the top 19 hitters in the league are Red Sox. Interestingly, that does not include Betts (batting .269), who may have as much potential as anyone.

When most of these performers get together to talk the old days, they speak of McCoy Stadium (Triple-A) in Pawtucket, or Hadlock Field.

“You hear many conversations of Portland and Pawtucket still to this day,” Farrell said. “What they have experienced as a group … the fact that they can rely on one another when they do scuffle. They’ve had some history to doing that prior to getting here.

“They are kind of all growing at the same rate, which is pretty cool.”

All have struggled to a certain extent. One only has to think of Shaw’s disastrous 2013 season in Portland (.221), Bogaerts’ first full season in the majors, in 2014 (.240) or Jackie Bradley’s scuffles for 2½ years before last summer.

Other promising young bats have hit the skids and haven’t recovered. Will Middlebrooks and Garin Cecchini come to mind (both are now competing in Triple-A with the Milwaukee Brewers).

These current Red Sox have struggled and adjusted.

“They have an understanding what their strengths are,” Farrell said.

“It’s shown in their all-field approach. For young hitters not to be one dimensional speaks to how advanced they are.”

That mature approach has Boston confident that this offense will not fade.

With Boston’s pitching unreliable at the moment, the bats and defense have propelled the Red Sox to one of their best starts through 49 games with a 29-20 record.

Since 2001, six other Boston teams have had at least 29 wins through their first 49 games. Three won the World Series (2004, ’07, ’13), two reached the AL Championship Series (2003 and 2008), and one had 93 wins but missed the playoffs (2002).

That ’02 team, with the likes of Tony Clark and Brian Daubach, Jose Offerman, Rey Sanchez and Carlos Baerga, got off to a quick start, with an .838 OPS in April. But they faded some, still managing a .789 OPS.

The revamped 2003 Red Sox, with newcomers Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller and Ortiz, blistered the ball for an .851 OPS. But the pitching staff had an ERA of 4.48 – featuring a rotation of All-Star Pedro Martinez (2.22) and everyone else with an ERA in the fours and fives.

That brings us to this year. Boston’s ERA is 4.26. That might be good enough for a playoff run (the 2004 Red Sox balanced an .832 OPS with a 4.18 ERA), but it is certainly not comfortable.

Boston’s pitching must get better. Red Sox hitters are creating a special 2016 season. It would be a shame to waste it.