Whiten was born in Pensacola, Florida. He was selected by Toronto in the 1986 amateur draft and made his major league debut in the '90 season. Whiten was a typical up-and-down player. He had one of the best outfield arms in the 1990s. He hit for power too, but his mental lapses hurt him in the field and at the plate. The Blue Jays had little patience with his development and sent him to Cleveland. After two seasons with the Indians he was sent to the Cardinals.
In his first season with St. Louis Whiten recorded nine outfield assists, fifth-best in the National League. On September 7, 1993, he gained notability with his performance against the Cincinnati Reds in the second game of a doubleheader. Whiten hit four home runs and drove in 12 runs, tying the all-time single-game records in both categories in the process. He also tied the NL mark for runs batted in in a doubleheader (13). During the same season, he belted a 464-foot homer into the upper deck at Three Rivers Stadium (August 11), becoming the first visiting player to reach the right-field overhang. He finished that year with a .253 batting average, to go along with 25 home runs and 99 runs batted in.
Whiten suffered through pulled rib cage muscles early at the 1994 season that limited him to play in 92 games, at which point his career began to fade. Over the following six seasons, he played for six teams, including a second stint with Cleveland. On the 31st of July 1998, Whiten pitched his only inning of professional ball, for Cleveland against the Oakland Athletics. He walked two and gave up a hit and an earned run, but also struck out the side (which included future AL MVP Miguel Tejada). He thus has a perfect career K/9 ratio of 27.
In his 11-year major-league career, Whiten had a .259 batting average, with 105 home runs, 423 RBIs, 465 runs scored, 804 hits, 129 doubles, 20 triples, and 70 stolen bases in 939 games. He resumed his playing career with the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League.