There are two prominent strategies that teams can take when going into the draft: Take the best player available on the boards or draft what you need. It's too early in the season to determine who the best might be when the Yankees eventually pick; no first-rounder means it would mostly just be guess work. Instead, we'll look at what the organization might need.
It's hard to put all your eggs into one draft pick, especially when it's not the first overall pick or even a first-round pick. The lower the pick, the more likely that player has an impact on your organization. Conversely, it becomes more and more of a crapshoot as you get later into the draft, and they have less impact on the organization's depth chart. While the Yankees won't exactly be drafting an organizational impact player, they will be adding depth, and that's still important. So, what does the Yankees system need? They need plenty, but they also have plenty too.
What They Need: Infielders & Starting Pitching
It has been said for years that the Yankees lack any kind of infield depth in the minors. That's changed in 2014 with Abiatal Avelino, Gosuke Katoh, Tyler Wade, Miguel Andujar, and Eric Jagielo all hanging out in the bottom of the system. None of them are clearcut studs, at least not yet, so they'll need to keep adding pieces to ensure that they have other prospects to take their places in case a few of them turn out to be busts. There won't be anyone to replace Derek Jeter in 2015 and they've already had to deal with Brian Roberts taking over for Robinson Cano, but if they want longterm additions they'll need to compile as many options as they can.
One thing the Yankees definitely need that not a lot of people consider is starting pitching. They certainly have their prospects in Luis Severino, Manny Banuelos, and Ian Clarkin, but now that Jose Ramirez has been moved to the bullpen and Jose Campos has undergone Tommy John surgery, they lack much in the way of high-profile starters. Bringing in some refined college arms or projectable high schoolers could do wonders for the organization. Even if they don't have the potential to be an ace, David Phelps-like pitchers can be useful too.
Could Always Use: Outfielders
While they don't necessarily need more outfielder in a system full of them, most of those outfielders have been disappointments. Top prospects Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, and Mason Williams have all seen their stock fall in recent years and none of them look like they're going to gain much back. Luckily, the Yankees went out and made sure their major league outfield is set for years by signing Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, and extending Brett Gardner. They also have some promising names in Aaron Judge and Jake Cave making their way up the ladder, but they don't really have to think about outfield prospects this year.
What They Don't Need: Catchers & Relievers
For what the Yankees lack in impact talent, they make up for with depth and options. The Yankees organization doesn't need any more catchers; they have enough. They knew this last year when they drafted one catcher in Trent Garrison in the 28th round of the 2013 draft. Brian McCann will be here for the next five years, while John Ryan Murphy and Austin Romine are major league ready and won't be free agents any time soon. Then there's Gary Sanchez, who could be the catcher of the future and is still only 21 and in Double-A. Not everything pans out, but it appears that for this year, the Yankees might have their future at catcher handled. They'll likely still take a catcher as organizational filler, but there's no reason to go grabbing one in the higher rounds. Maybe in 2015.
If it's one thing the Yankees know how to do, it's develop relief pitchers. Over the last few years they've brought up a fair amount of young relief pitchers and they have plenty more to come. They have Mark Montgomery, Jose Ramirez, and Danny Burawa at the top of the organization and just last year added Nick Rumbelow, Tyler Webb, and Phillip Walby. I wouldn't be against taking a college closer in the backend of the first 10 rounds, but when you consider that Rafael De Paula, Chase Whitley, and Dietrich Enns might all end up being full-time relievers in the future, it seems like they have that area under control.