The plate is 17 inches wide but the strike zone is not because a pitched ball is a strike if any part of the ball is over that plate (plus, vertical junk). Hence the term on the black for the black trim around home plate. Actually, a pitch that is only on the black but not over the plate even a little bit should be called a ball as if anyone can tell.

The baseball is about 2.25 inches in diameter. To be a strike the ball can basically be tangent with the plate, i.e., the edge of the ball touches the edge of the plate. That adds 2 times the ball diameter (4.5 inches) to the width of the strike zone, making it 21.5 inches wide. That's 26% wider than we tend to think.

How about we change that rule just a little bit and require the entire ball to be over the plate for the pitch to be a strike? Advantages:

1. Easier to call.

2. Umpire can obey the rule requiring the ump to stand directly behind the plate.

3. Easier to catch.

4. Easier to pitch.

5. Pretty much eliminates "pitch framing", a.k.a. cheating, as a catching skill.

6.

__More hitting!__
That last is the one that will have typical baseball people, both fans and officials, objecting. They're petrified that batters might succeed half the time. League batting average or on base "percentage" .500 might be interpreted as batters and pitchers being even. Instead we have for 2018:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/2018.shtml
BA: .248

OBP: .318

SLG: .409

OPS: .728

That looks pretty much like pitchers dominate. Since 1903 highest major league averages:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/bat.shtml
BA: .296 in 1930

OBP: .356 in 1930

SLG: .437 in 2000

OPS: .790 in 1930

Come on. Move the ball off the edge and completely over the plate. You'll be glad you did.

The post below has lots of good strike zone stuff and references to earlier such posts:

**Touch your body at the top of the strike zone.** Tuesday, October 20, 2015