It's as if nothing changed for Ryan Braun.

As if he never had to fight for his name last winter.

As if Prince Fielder was still hitting cleanup behind him in the Milwaukee Brewers lineup.

Braun, 28, is almost exactly the player he was a year ago at this time. The uproar over his positive test for elevated levels of testosterone — and successful appeal and avoidance of a 50-game suspension — long has subsided.

Check his stats: Braun's 20 homers, 52 RBI and .596 slugging percentage surpass his numbers in those categories after the same amount of games last season, when he was voted National League MVP.

Check the All-Star balloting: Baseball announced Tuesday that Braun was third among NL outfielders in the final voting update; the rosters will be revealed Sunday.

Many of us questioned how he would fare without Fielder, who left the Brewers for a nine-year, $214 million free-agent contract with the Detroit Tigers.

Maybe even more of us questioned how Braun would handle the fallout of his positive test; he became the first player known to have such a test overturned, but some believe he won on a technicality.